A 15-year-old juvenile accused of hitting Columbus attorney Richard Hagler with a skateboard admitted to the allegations in a Juvenile Court proceeding last week, Hagler said.
The boy, whose name wasn’t released because Juvenile Court records are sealed, admitted to the allegations in the petition for delinquency, which is similar to pleading guilty, Hagler said. He was sentenced on Thursday to between 12 and 18 months on charges of aggravated assault and second-degree criminal damage to property. The juvenile is also committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice until he’s 21, which is similar to probation, Hagler said.
The two charges were unrelated.
“He was asked if he wanted to say anything, and he stood silent,” Hagler said. “It’s just a tragedy when I see kids like this. My goal was not to ruin the child’s life. My goal was to get his attention before it’s too late.”
Thursday’s Juvenile Court proceeding stemmed from a Jan. 3 incident, when Hagler, 57, saw about 10 skateboarders between 12 and 15 years old at Heritage Park, at Front Avenue and Seventh Street, around 3 p.m. 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, said his wife, Tasca Hagler.
Hagler had a fractured cheekbone and needed 15 stitches to close a large cut on his temple, his wife said.
A $1,000 reward for information leading to the juvenile’s apprehension was offered by Tasca Hagler, and the suspect was arrested Jan. 5.
“He could have been given up to five years,” Hagler said of the sentence. “I wasn’t out to ruin his life. I just wanted him and his friends to understand that there are consequences.”