A 15-year-old juvenile was arrested Tuesday in connection with the Sunday attack on a Columbus attorney, police said.
The boy, whose name wasn’t released by police, was charged with battery around 11 a.m., said Columbus Police Lt. Steve Cox. He’s accused of hitting defense attorney Richard Hagler around 3 p.m. Sunday with a skateboard.
“He’s formally arrested, he’s charged, he’s released to his parents,” Cox said.
The lieutenant added that Juvenile Court has 10 days from Tuesday to dispose of the case. The charge of battery is a misdemeanor.
Cox said there are no other suspects and no other arrests are expected.
Hagler, 57, saw about 10 skateboarders between 12 and 15 years old at Heritage Park, at Front Avenue and Seventh Street, on Sunday, his wife, Tasca Hagler, said in an e-mail. He approached the group and told them to stop using the park, pointing out the new skateboarding facility by Golden Park. He was then “verbally assaulted” by one while another struck him in the head with a skateboard, his wife added.
“He is on blood thinners and blood was gushing from his eye, his nose and his mouth,” Tasca Hagler said. “His shirt and pants were splattered with blood. I called the police who summoned an ambulance. At the hospital, tests revealed Richard has a fractured cheekbone and he had to have 15 stitches to close the large gash on his temple, which is so close to his eye, it is only by God’s grace Richard did not lose his right eye.”
Tasca Hagler offered a $1,000 reward for information that led to the apprehension of the suspect.
Richard Hagler had returned to his law office on Tuesday. His right eye is swollen and bruised. He declined to comment on the arrest.
Hagler did, however, say that park rules, such as trespassing, need to be enforced.
“It’s not just skateboarding,” Hagler said. “Trespassing is just a symptom. It’s got to be more enforcement but it’s also got to start back at the home with education and values.
“I hate that it happened,” he added. “It’s a shame that it’s come to this.”
Police Maj. Julius Graham said officers patrol Heritage Park, the Riverwalk and other areas. Skateboarding isn’t allowed on sidewalks or in Heritage Park because it’s unsafe, the major said. Also, skateboarding damages handrails and other features in parks.
“Anyone found skateboarding down there — there’s a possibility they could be cited,” Graham said.
He added that patrols of the area will be increased.