Ohio man gets jail for mocking disabled girl

A northeast Ohio man accused of making fun of a young girl with cerebral palsy has been sentenced to a month in jail.
Associated Press
Nov 28, 2012

Canton Municipal Judge John A. Poulos ordered the maximum sentence for 43-year-old William Bailey, who pleaded no contest Tuesday to reduced misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and aggravated menacing.

The (Canton) Repository (http://bit.ly/10Um7Zd ) reports that Bailey was caught on cellphone video at a school bus stop in October making fun of how the 10-year-old disabled girl walks. The video of him seemingly imitating her limp was disseminated online and on local TV news. Bailey denied he was mocking the girl, saying he was reacting to name-calling directed at his 9-year-old son.

Bailey apologized to the girl and her family in a statement Tuesday.






Seriously? SERIOUSLY??? Okay, the guy's clearly a jerk. I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out he was a bully, too. But arresting somebody, and actually sentencing him to JAIL, over something like this is APPALLING!

Did he attack anybody? No. Did he threaten the public safety? No. Did he steal the little girl's purse? No. All he did was behave like an immature, mean little boy. It's rude and it's tacky, but "aggravated menacing?" REALLY? Don't we have REAL criminals to go after somewhere?


It's not appalling at all.

BW1's picture

It's absolutely appalling for anyone who comprehends what the USA is all about. This judge and prosecutor might as well use the Bill of Rights to wipe their bottoms.

The behavior on video was an exercise of his free speech rights. The First Amendment doesn't just apply to things that don't hurt anyone's feelings.

As for the menacing charge, no one with even half a brain would take that "threat" as anything but mindless hyperbole in an argument. It wasn't credible, and wouldn't make any reasonable person think they were in imminent danger.

So, that's one blatant trampling of the Constitution, and one stretching of a statute beyond all recognition. Another ratcheting up of the government's impugnity for arbitrarily doing anything it wants to anyone, just because someone felt offended.
It's no different in concept from someone being executed for saying something bad about Mohammed in a Middle Eastern country.

Is the guy an unmitigated jerk? Heck yeah, but this country was founded in part on the inalienable right to be a jerk, just as much as it was founded on the right of everyone in that town to not so much as give this jerk the time of day. He shouldn't be able to walk down the street without hearing everyone's contempt. If I saw him at the side of the road with a flat tire, I'd look for a puddle near him to charge through. However, the government has no business involving itself.

Living in a free country means sometimes, nice peoples' feelings get hurt. It's unpleasant, but history teaches us that it beats the alternative.


Good! He should be ashamed of himself for mocking a diabled child...I think they should have sent him right to jail instead of waiting to send him in January!!

DEEPsix's picture

no crime commited, other than obamas new charge other than blacks dismissed charges against new black panthers, voters intimidation, yets courts charge this idiot!!!


yes its all Obamas fault ...im clearly not a huge fan of our president but lets call it like we see it ! Obviously this guy is a loser


still, i dont think any laws were broken..

the office cat

mikey... so glad you know more than the courts. Assault can be verbal as well as physical.


Hate Crime pure and simple. Next time think about how your ACTIONS will hurt others. We can all think of racial slurs that are now taboo. Same with dimwitted actions. The disabled have a hard enough time coping with the issues they face w/o these worthless actions.


i agree with the dimwitted actions part but i still say no law was broken. there are no laws against stupidity. offensive actions do not constitute a hate crime.


Actually offensive acts have been considered as hate crimes. A recent case of some idiot make offensive comments to a gay pizza guy resulted in a disorderly conduct being charged as a hate crime.


How did they know he was Gay ?Was he rubbing it in your face !

the office cat

Mikey... again... READ SOME LAW, Dude!


See what happens when you flip off a cop.


IDK... I believe what the ignoramus said was appalling, but to be ARRESTED and thrown in JAIL?! I don't like the way this is heading... Being jailed for things that you say is dangerous to our right to free speech! Whether we like what is said or not, we have the right to say it. This is turning into a communistic country, when crap like this stands.
I don't approve, but, I defend his right to say it...


you're right to free speech is not absolute.


these days none of our rights are absolute. soon we will all be ruled by sharia law.


I am glad some one see's it coming !

BW1's picture

"you're[sic] right to free speech is not absolute."

No, it's not, but the exceptions are clearly spelled out in precedent.
Perhaps, since you make such claims, you'd care to specify which exception is implicated in this case.

Let me help you out - being offensive to peoples' sensibilities is not one of them. There is no right not to be offended.

the office cat

I Am.... AGAIN! With every freedom comes responsibility. No freedom is absolute. If you have a child who calls you or your wife a "202029cm498ujc-ksou5043jnls0!" do you just let that slide as 'free speech'?


hmmm.. a stalker. well, i want you to go to jail. (not for stalking me, that kinda turns me on!) you hurt my feelings you big insensative meanie! picking on me because you're sooooo much smarter you obviously dont like people who dont read law, looks like a hate crime to me..


NO, I do not allow my children to disrespect me or my spouse or anyone else, for that matter. Those rules are OUR family rule, NOT for the WHOLE COUNTRY! That is not even a valid argument,you are grasping at straws....


this doesn't even come CLOSE to the definition of aggrevating menacing (I just looked it up) but it is tacky and is making fun of the disabled.

It shows a small mind and it does give other children a bad example from an adult, which in itself shows what an idiot this guy is. Having said that, he probably should do 30 days for stupidity, but there is no law for that one.

When they finally come up with a code for dumb, then they can send this guy to jail for it, until then I don't know how they can inprison this guy for doing what he did. He didn't threaten her with bodily harm or even come close to that, so how they charged him with it is beyond me.

I don't like what he did but I am sure there was something else they could have done that would have been equally as serving to him that would have been a good reminder to this idiot, like work with disabled children for thirty days or something more constructive than sitting in a cell for that time. What is he going to learn sitting there? Absolutely nothing.

This is really a stupid thing to do.


If we are starting to jail people for being stupid we need bigger jails. That should help lower our jobless numbers.


You have to be really stupid to drag politics into this. Not to mention that it creates a reaction opposite to what you thought you were doing.


We can sugarcoat this situation anyway we want but here isn't any excuse for bullying.
Assistant Canton Municipal Prosecutor Jennifer Fitzsimmons:

The disorderly conduct is for Bailey’s action caught on tape, and the aggravated menacing charges are due to comments he is alleged to have made to Hope’s mother, shortly after the video was taken.


Note that Mr. Bailey pleaded no contest to the charges.


Channel 8 video:



He may be mentally disabled himself, let's face it an adult mocking any child is not acceptable. The fact he was caught doing it and then denying it makes him the worst kind of coward there is I believe that is a bully.


instead of a month in jail, he should have had to do community service for a month with the mentally disabled. He might learn that they are real people with real feelings.