Bellevue boy, 15, charged in friend's shooting

FREMONT A 15-year-old Bellevue boy who unintentionally shot his friend June 8 is facing charges.
Sarah Weber
May 24, 2010

FREMONT

A 15-year-old Bellevue boy who unintentionally shot his friend June 8 is facing charges.

Sandusky County Sheriff's Det. David Meyer said Austin Perry has been charged with one count of negligent assault for pulling the trigger of a .22-caliber rifle on his friend, 14-year-old Joseph Magyar.

The two boys were fooling around with the gun at Austin's home when it fired into the 14-year-old's stomach. The bullet damaged several of Joseph's organs before lodging into one of his spinal bones. According to Joseph, his good friend had no idea the gun was loaded.

Doctors at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center removed thebullet, and Joseph is recovering at home.

Meyer said he completed his investigation late last month and shared the results with Sandusky County assistant prosecutor Beth Tischler. The prosecutor's office filed charges Wednesday.

Meyer said adults charged with negligent assault, a misdemeanor of the third degree, face up to 60 days in jail and $500 in fines.

Because the charges were filed in juvenile court, however, the maximum penalties for Austin will be a fine up to $150 and up to 90 days in the Sandusky County Juvenile Detention Center.

His initial appearance in court will likely be scheduled in the next two weeks, said juvenile court Judge Brad Smith.

Smith said juvenile courts, in general, have a great deal of flexibility when it comes to sentencing for misdemeanor crimes. Ordering community service is one option.

No one at Austin's residence answered calls Wednesday.

Valerie Magyar, Joseph's mother, said she didn't know charges were filed against Austin, and she didn't know enough about it to discuss the matter.

She said, however, her son is doing well.

"He's getting better every day," she said. "We're hoping for a full recovery."

Joseph was an active teenager before the incident and planned to train for the fall sports season this summer. He looked forward to wearing the Bellevue High School Redmen's jersey in September.

He and his parents are hopeful the shooting injury will not affect his participation in sports.

Both families have acknowledged the shooting was a tragic mistake for the boys.

"He's tore up about this -- it's his best friend," Austin's father, Walter Perry, said after the incident. "I feel bad enough, I don't want to say anything."