According to police, a 13-year-old boy was charged as a juvenile with felony aggravated battery against a police officer Wednesday after he hit the officer in the arm with a snowball while the officer was parked in his vehicle in the 4900 block of West Congress Parkway about 3:20 p.m. Residents sounded off on the crime and punishment the next day, many describing the charge as police “going overboard. “”It’s not fair,” said Mary Grant, a longtime resident of the block. The boy “was being hardheaded, but that’s very harsh. The officer should’ve tried something different than arrest. “The boy is believed to be a student at Leland Elementary School, formerly May Elementary, which sits at the southeast corner of the intersection near where the snowball was thrown. Officials at the school acknowledged that the incident occurred but declined to comment. “I think that’s ridiculous — it’s such a big charge,” said Latanya Powell, a construction worker on the block. “It’s just going overboard. I can see if it were a weapon and harm was done, but it was just a snowball. “This is a case of kids being kids. “Like other residents on the block, Powell wondered whether the charge would stain the boy’s record well into his adult years, hurting his chances of finding a job, housing and education.
Perhaps someone can think of a better form of punishment than a felony criminal charge. Perhaps some dirty jobs around the school–like cleaning a dumpster or something.