Recently, a Bay Village teen with autism was tricked into believing he would be participating in the popular ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Instead of ice water, a group of teens allegedly dumped a bucket filled with human waste, cigarette butts, and spit on the young man. The police have now identified the people involved and are still working to determine what type of charges can be brought against the juveniles.
The case has drawn national attention, even garnering pledges from several celebrities, including Drew Carey and Jenny McCarthy who pledged $10,000 each to ensure that the teens responsible be caught. Regardless, police have already begun an investigation into the parties involved.
Attorney Friedman Provides Insight
FOX 8 Cleveland sought Ian N. Friedman's opinion on the case, though his is not directly affiliated with any party involved. As a prominent criminal defense attorney and law professor in Cleveland, Attorney Friedman is well-respected within the community. He believes that the charges will be hard to determine until the investigation is complete, however, they could range from misdemeanor assault to disorderly conduct.
He was quoted saying "As heinous as these acts were, it is going to be difficult because under state law there's really not a lot of offenses that fit." It will likely not be considered a hate crime, as there is no inclusion about disability in the law.
"For this poor young man that was the victim of this, hopefully he will be the person that ignites new law to protect other kids in the future," Friedman further commented. There is an Ohio bill on the table proposed by Rep. Nicki Antonio that would add specific language to include disability and sexual orientation in the hate crime laws.
Since the incident took place off of school grounds and prior to the school year beginning, it will be difficult for the school to have any jurisdiction over it.
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