MOUNT VERNON — The youth who assaulted a classmate in a Mount Vernon Middle School classroom in May will spend the next 20 days in a juvenile detention facility in Zanesville. He must also complete 18 hours of community service by Aug. 31 and complete six Community Youth Program sessions in the fall.
Judge James Ronk could have sentenced the boy to the custody of Ohio Youth Services for a possible sentence of one year or until he turns 21, but suspended it, warning the youth that the possibility was out there if he continues to get in trouble.
Seventy days at the juvenile facility were also suspended, as were 60 hours in Podville, a juvenile “time out” program.
The boy was charged with assaulting a classmate in school May 12. Witness statements said the two had exchanged words, the accused asked the teacher what would happen if he hit someone and a few minutes later he started hitting the victim, who was sitting at his desk. The victim fell over during the altercation, taking the desk with him, which fell on his wrist.
After the judge had explained the youth’s options and Knox County Prosecutor Chip McConville had gone through the basic description of events, the judge asked the youth what he wanted to do, enter a plea or see a lawyer.
After conferring with his father, the youth entered a guilty plea.
Before sentencing, the judge offered the parents of the boy whose wrist had been broken in the altercation if they wished to make a statement. That father talked about how his son had been unable to enjoy the activities he liked because of the cast, had had an infection in the wrist and basically had his summer ruined. He said they wanted the boy who assaulted their son to spend as much time in custody as their son was having to wear a cast.
Before sentencing, the judge told the boy: “A lot of things push our buttons. You have to be strong enough to handle them differently. You think you’re tough, but what if someone tougher starts beating on you?
“You’ll be bored in detention. I hope you think about it. This is not acceptable behavior.”