Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Slackers and Delinquents - The Beginning Of the Rest Of the Story

Some weeks ago I posted "Slackers and Delinquents" - a story about four teenage boys and their misguided attempt to vandalize our townhouse and cars. With all due respect to Paul Harvey, here is The Beginning Of the Rest Of the Story...

Paintballer #1, the only one of the four who apologized, went to court on Monday. He showed up sans parents or attorney. A subpoena encouraged me to be there too. I was.

#1 first entered a "not guilty" plea - soon changed to "guilty" once the judge explained his options and the trial process. Most threatening, I think, was the judge's admonition that, while the prosecutor might be amenable to a deal, he (the judge) wasn't necessarily bound by what the prosecutor might have done and would impose whatever sentence he darn well pleased. I don't think #1 is much of a gambler. I wouldn't have been either.

Thus began the horsetrading. I told the prosecutor that #1 was the only apologist and that I believed him to be sincere and genuinely remorseful. I also mentioned the matter of damages - window washing, having the house pressure washed and several cars detailed. So we struck a deal: in deference to #1's apology, court costs were knocked down from $100 to $40. Actual damages were divided by 4, with #1's share being assessed at another $40 which he was asked to pay to me directly, on the spot.

But the story doesn't even end there. Outside in the hall, I handed #1 back his $40, saying "I don't want your money. I want your promise that you learned a lesson and will NEVER do something so stupid again." Message received, lessons learned including (maybe) one about forgiveness. I suggested he use the money to take his girlfriend out to dinner, have a good time and thus begin a long, productive, intelligently-lived life. Hope he did, 'cause life surely IS a try.

The hard case with the moronic father comes to court next Monday. The court has invited me back, too. I'm KEEPING his damn money. Stay tuned.


I Can Tri said...

I've wondered what the outcome of that story was. Thanks for keeping us informed.

You sound like a wise man...nice to see in this day and age.

Good luck with the hooligan on Monday.

nancytoby said...

Thanks for the update! And way to go on showing that young man what magnanimous Real Men are like! :-)

Comm's said...

your a good man.