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Feb 25 2014

Chicago Boy Throws Snowball, Gets Felony

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An unnamed 13-year-old Chicago boy has been charged with a felony for allegedly throwing a snowball at a police officer. The boy maintains that he is innocent, and that another child threw the snow at the parked car, not the officer. The boy was one of a group of 15 children walking home from school that day. The officer claims that the offensive ball of precipitation hit him in the arm. However, when police called the boy’s mother, they, too, said the snow had hit the car.

The incident occurred about half a block away from the boy’s school, George Leland Elementary, and both the dean and a security guard were present. Both implicated the child, who tried to plead innocence. The boy was arrested immediately and charged with aggrvataed battery to a police officer. The boy was also given a five-day suspension. He has no prior criminal or disciplinary record.

Neighbors and parents have come to the boy’s defense, saying it is a case of “kids being kids.” Most agree that the charges are harsh and worry about how it will affect the child’s future.

However, not all disagree with the police. Ray Fields, a local teacher and resident of the block, thinks the charges are justified. He told DNAInfo Chicago, “If [the boy] had gotten away with it, who’s to say what they’d do next? If it doesn’t stick to them now, they’ll be 16 or 17, and they’ll have a gun.” He argues that the charge will help the boy change his ways before things get “more serious.”

However, it could be argued that getting charged with a felony for throwing a snowball is already pretty serious.

The eighth-grader has juvenile court on March 12.

Earlier this month, five Bronx men were successful in suing New York City police over a false arrest after an officer claimed that they had also thrown snowballs at the police. The suit cost the city $10 million, with each man receiving $60,000.

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