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.

 

Comments

SamAdams

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?

Kelly

It's not appalling at all.

BW1's picture
BW1

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.

BlueAngel

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
DEEPsix

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

didhejustsaythat76

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

mikeylikesit

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.

totallyamazed

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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.
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www.disabilityhelpsite.org
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mikeylikesit

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.

dontcare

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.

JACKEL

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

the office cat

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

luvblues2

See what happens when you flip off a cop.

iamrevolutionary

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...

dontcare

you're right to free speech is not absolute.

mikeylikesit

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

JACKEL

I am glad some one see's it coming !

BW1's picture
BW1

"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'?

mikeylikesit

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..

iamrevolutionary

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....

wiredmama222

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.

Be_informed

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

rjk1915

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.

Mum-of-One

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.

RNR

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.

deertracker

Agreed!

totallyamazed

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I agree also. Maybe jail for a non-violent action was excessive. Helping the disabled may have softened his heart toward the disabled.
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Kelly

I wouldn't want him anywhere near my disabled child

dontcare

50 percent of all Federal inmates are in for non-violent acts.

Second Opinion

After watching the video &reading the report I think he should have been also charged with contempt for mocking the court with his lies.

This slime was setting a terrible example to the other children and I'm pretty sure his son will be reading his fathers engraved name on the cell walls in a few a few years .

Contango

Bring back the stockade in the public square.

Have the kids bring plenty of rotten vegetables and fruit for throwing. Fun for the whole family!

EdO's

Adult mocking a child - unacceptable.
Jail time for adult mocking a child - unacceptable.

It's a racket...the court system bogged down, keeping police, lawyers, court workers, judges and jails employed. An outrageous use of tax dollars.

Eph 2 8-10

Perhaps standing at a busy intersection for 30 days with a sign saying "I'm a bully and a jerk. I tease handicapped kids."

Seems like a good way to humiliate this pathetic excuse of a man.

meowmix

I'll have to go with the consensus that jail time was not warranted in this case. We all have probably at some point in our lives, had to put up with hurtful remarks (if I had a nickle for all the dumb blonde jokes I've had to endure over the years I could retire.) Granted, this guy obviously has some serious issues but like Mum said, maybe he's not operating with a full deck. I say an apology would have sufficed. Just remember though, in this day and age it may not be Big Brother watching you, just a bystander with a cell phone can land you in jail.

dontcare

I say put him on Bully Beatdown

Centauri

The bully is now being "bullied" with death threats.
http://fox8.com/2012/10/04/man-e...

Like father, like son. Both idiots.
http://fox8.com/tag/hope-holcomb/

Second Opinion

Not saying he should have received jail time, but the video angers me greatly

http://fox8.com/2012/10/01/caugh...

Centauri

I too questioned the aggravated menacing charge until I found more information about it. The disorderly charge was based on the video of him limping. The aggravated menacing charge was for threatening the girl's mother.

http://www.cantonrep.com/news/x4...

"Fitzsimmons opted Friday to charge Bailey with disorderly conduct “based on the actions in the video,” she said.

Bailey also faces an aggravated menacing charge, accusing him of threatening Tricia Knight later that day, Fitzsimmons said."

"In June, Bailey was convicted of aggravated menacing in an unrelated matter and served 10 days in jail, Stark County court records show."

SamAdams

I KNEW there had to be more to the story! Now the menacing charge makes a lot more sense.

That being said, I'm truly dismayed at the number of people posting here who think jail time for his ill-advised mocking of a handicapped girl is a good idea. Of COURSE I don't think what he did is acceptable, but are we going to criminally punish people now if they cause offense? That's not a slippery slope, it's a freakin' CLIFF! We go over THAT edge, and none of us is safe. Ever. After all, people can be offended by anything they choose to find offensive, including politics, manner of dress, religion, etc. NOT GOOD, folks...

here in ohio

And this guy has kids of his own...UN-REAL what a losser and his kids will grow up just like him,how sad is that !!!!

rickross2

Jail time????? Hes basically a d*ckhead. But not a criminal. Good grief this society is out of control. Not a big deal, girls dad should have punched him in the face and been done with it. Now its a big to do for nothing.(I thought the dads impression was way better than his sons)

Centauri

http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2903.21
2903.21 Aggravated menacing.
(A) No person shall knowingly cause another to believe that the offender will cause serious physical harm to the person or property of the other person, the other person’s unborn, or a member of the other person’s immediate family.

The idiot made threats against the mother. Please note that the law states "property" also.

BW1's picture
BW1

"Knowingly cause another to believe" - that means the "victim" must have a reasonable belief they are in imminent danger, and that the speaker knows their words would instill such a belief in a reasonable person. The "threat" was a hyperbolic outburst that no reasonable person would see as credible.

The prosecutor was grasping at straws knowing that because of public opinion, this guy would realize that pleading no contest and going to jail would be his best option compared to likely the vigilante alternative.

The answer to offensive speech is not jail or violence, it is more speech, and exercising freedom of (non)association.

TKeegan73's picture
TKeegan73

I'm sure the Judge was put on the spot by the general public and the media of course so he did what was in his best interest and made an example out the man for his immature actions. I don't agree with being sentenced to jail but had the Judge not done this there still would of been people complaining that not enough was done to set an example. I hope the shame and the guilt for his poor judgement in making fun of a disabled child far exceeds the punishment of having to set in jail for a month and explain to violent offender inmates exactly why he's in there. I think I smell a "bully beat-down" coming for this guy once he is incarcerated. I think a more fit punishment would have been to have to stand at that same bus stop holding a sign that says something along the lines of "I'm in my 40's and I find it funny to mock and make fun of disabled children in public because I am insecure with my own mentality"! Sounds like more of a punishment than wasting County tax money to house this ignorant fool for a month. I say he should have a guest appearance on Tosh.O, there's no "web redemption" for this tool!

Julie R.

What a dirt-bag!

Lovin_Walleye2012

My step-son has CP and is in a wheel chair. I think this a$$hole needs to see what it is like and live "handicapped" for a month instead. His son will be following in his father's footsteps obviously...

wiredmama222

Perhaps not now that daddy is going to jail. He will learn NOT to do what daddy did

BIGMOE

Lets hope one of his jail cell buddys has a disabled child......POS

SandTownBry

D**N are we n Jr High??? really half u guys on here sound like little school girls crying over whos takeing who to the dance.grow up

Unassumer

Next, we'll be going to jail for our comments.