A 13-year-old boy was sentenced to four months in juvenile detention after he pleaded guilty in King County Juvenile Court on Wednesday to the attempted robbery of a concierge and an attack on two skateboarders in two separate incidents last summer in Westlake Park.
The teen, whom The Times is not naming because he was prosecuted as a juvenile, was additionally given another 15 to 36 weeks in detention that will be suspended on the condition that he completes a year of probation.
At the hearing, the boy said he was sorry for what happened and “the mistakes” he’d made but could not explain them. He said he thought it was because he was hanging around with the wrong people.
King County Juvenile Court Judge Barbara Mack told the boy his actions were more than mistakes and that he needed to accept full responsibility.
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“You have the ability to be a leader of people who do good things rather than a follower of people who do bad things,” Mack said.
The victim of the Westlake Park attack, Joseph Crudo, said that given the boy’s age, he supported plea deal negotiated between prosecutors and the boy’s attorney. However, he said in an email that he had wanted to have a meaningful conversation with the child, an arrangement the legal system did not allow.
The judge issued a no-contact order that bans the boy from having contact with Crudo, the other victims and the unidentified adults he was with when the two attacks occurred.
According to court documents and Crudo’s own account, he was working as a concierge at the Seaboard residential and office building at Westlake Park on July 18 when he witnessed three women pickpocketing a man.
When he called the victim’s attention to what was happening, the three women started yelling at him, then pushed him, he said.
“Then the 13-year-old kid — he must have seen an opportunity, me being a victim — and he put his right hand in my back pocket and tried to grab my wallet,” he told The Times in an interview.
As Crudo turned to face the 13-year-old, he said he was knocked to the ground by someone else. “Then kids and adults from all over the park came over and just beat me up,” he said.
The group scattered when another employee approached, court documents say.
Crudo, 27, suffered a broken arm and nose, a concussion and knee injury in the attack.
The boy pleaded guilty to first-degree attempted robbery in
the attack on Crudo.
The 13-year-old also pleaded guilty to two counts of fourth-degree assault and one count of third-degree theft in another attack on two young skateboarders in the park a month later.
According to prosecutors, the boy knocked a phone from one victim’s hand and then began kicking him in the head before turning his attention to another skater, whom he also is alleged to have kicked multiple times. Prosecutors say the boy and his friend stole $50 from one of the victim’s backpacks.
The assaults at Westlake Park occurred amid complaints to police from residents and businesses in the area about escalating street crime. The attacks became part of the conversation during the heated mayoral campaign.
Christine Clarridge can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-464-8983.
Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this report.