North College Hill continues to deal with the aftermath of the recent beating of a resident by six teenagers. The teenagers told the police that they committed the crime because they were bored.
Recent reports have emphasized that the community is undertaking outreach to youth groups, holding fundraisers for the victim. Public official are also attempting to evict the family of one of the suspects from public housing.
"We are disgusted. We are insulted. This is not North College Hill. This will not be tolerated," said Mayor Dan Brooks in a press conference. "They have woken a sleeping giant."
Last week, six teenage boys allegedly ambushed a resident as he walked home from a convenience store. The boys, aged just 12 and 13, knocked the man unconscious, punched him, and kicked him. Neighbors came to man's rescue. When the teens were arrested, they told police they did it because "they were bored and were looking for something to do," police wrote in an incident report.
The victim told the Cincinnati Enquirer that he didn't remember what happened but was stunned to find out his attackers were so young.
The North College Hill police have not charged the juveniles with a hate crime. Ohio Law prohibits certain crimes, including menacing and aggravated menacing, that occur or are motivated by "reason of the race, color, religion, or national origin of another person or group of persons." Revised Code §2927.12. Ethnic intimidation is an offense of the next higher degree than the original offense. In some cases, this means that a misdemeanor aggravated assault can be treated as a felony. In addition, the provisions of Ohio law that guide judges in sentencing divisions direct a more serious penalty "if the offender was motivated by prejudice based on race, ethnic background, gender, sexual orientation, or religion." Revised Code §2929.12(B)(8).
The North College Hill police apparently believe that the juveniles acted because they were bored, not out of racial prejudice. The reports, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer, indicated that the juveniles confessed to the assault and stated that the alleged victim had done nothing to provoke the attack, that they had kicked and punched him repeatedly in the face while he was helpless on the ground, and that they only stopped assaulting the alleged victim when a neighbor began yelling at them and said he was calling police.
The Juvenile Justice System is different than the adult system. Juveniles can be charged with the same crimes as adults, and more serious offenses can be transferred, or "bound over" to adult criminal court if the child is over the age of 14. In all cases, a conviction - whether in Juvenile Court or "Adult" criminal courts can bring severe and significant penalties and a criminal record. Parents of juveniles charged with any type of crime should contact an experienced defense attorney immediately.