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Hagerstown teen held after admitting she spit on police officer

January 13, 2006|by PEPPER BALLARD

After admitting in Washington County juvenile court Wednesday that she spit on a police officer in August, a 17-year-old Hagerstown girl cried and struggled as she was led into a courthouse holding cell area on a judge's order.

Circuit Judge Donald E. Beachley, sitting in juvenile court, ordered that the girl be held at a juvenile detention facility pending disposition on the second-degree assault charge to which she admitted Wednesday.

After learning that the girl has been disrespectful to Department of Juvenile Services workers and has admitted to weekly marijuana use, Beachley ordered she be detained rather than placed on community detention pending the completion of a predisposition investigation.

"Unless you get yourself straightened out, I think you're headed for the Division of Correction," Beachley told the girl.

When he made the announcement, the girl began to cry, called out "Mom" twice in the courtroom and grabbed onto the door jamb leading into a holding cell area as a Sheriff's Department deputy guided her through the door.

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Her continued screams and cries for her mother could be heard as the door to the holding cell area was closed.

On Aug. 21, at 10:30 p.m., the girl spit on a Hagerstown Police Department officer who was sent to check on a possible underage drinking party on Buena Vista Avenue, Assistant State's Attorney Michelle Flores said. The girl told another girl who was speaking with the officer upon his arrival at that party to "tell the officer to leave. They don't have a warrant," Flores said. As the girl walked away, she yelled obscenities and then spit on the officer's face as he was trying to control her, she said.

"She indicated if they did not let her go, she would spit on them again," Flores said.

Flores told Beachley that the Department of Juvenile Services has had continued problems with the girl's attitude. A Washington County Public Schools representative said the girl had been expelled last year from South Hagerstown High School, but while there, she had continued truancy and behavioral problems.

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