Teens punished for prank on autistic classmate

AP News
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Posted: Nov 24, 2014 4:57 PM

CLEVELAND (AP) — Three teens who admitted to dumping urine, tobacco and spit on a 15-year-old autistic classmate during an ice bucket prank were ordered Monday to do community service and write apology letters to the victim and his family.

The teens admitted to charges of assault and disorderly conduct in juvenile court, said Joseph Frolik, a spokesman for the Cuyahoga County prosecutor's office.

The autistic teen thought he was participating in the ice bucket challenge for charity when the boys dumped the bucket on him in August. The prank attracted nationwide attention after the autistic teen's mother found a video of it on his cellphone and allowed media outlets to publicize it.

The teens all live in the Cleveland suburb of Bay Village.

The autistic teen and his family weren't in court Monday. But their attorney read statements from the boy and his mother, The Plain Dealer in Cleveland reported.

"Why would you do that to me? I trusted you," the boy's statement said. "How dare you?"

The mother said in her statement that her son remained silent about what happened for two weeks because he was embarrassed and afraid to lose what he thought were friendships with the other boys.

She said what was done to him was not "appropriate human behavior."

An attorney for one of the teens said later Monday that his client was sorry and has said he let down his family, himself and his "friend."

Attorney Robert Gray said his client would like to do community service in a center serving those with autism.

Another teen's attorney said his client's parents have put severe restrictions on him and has apologized.

"When you are a teenager and the focus of international media coverage, it makes you grow up pretty quickly," attorney John Lawson said.

A message left for the third teen's attorney wasn't immediately returned.