Teenager pleads guilty in HRV ‘hazing’ assault


News staff writer

July 5, 2006

A Hood River Valley High School student pleaded guilty last week to participation in a “birthday hazing” that left the 16-year-old victim with major injuries.

The first of 11 teenage suspects, who is also 16, accepted a conviction for second-degree assault at the June 27 hearing.

Judge Donald Hull directed the juvenile to spend 24 months on probation. He was given a curfew from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. while on probation unless accompanied by his parents. That condition can be modified by a probation officer if deemed necessary.

In addition, the teen was ordered to write a letter of apology to the victim that is approved by his probation officer. He will perform 120 hours of community service and pay a share of the victim’s medical bills.

His sentence also includes attendance at a class about how choices are tied to consequences. He then has to write a statement about what different choices he might have made in the situation and how the consequences might have been different.

He and 10 other Hispanic students — who are also expected to plead guilty — told investigators the incident had been intended as a Latino rite of passage.

On May 25, the group gathered before classes began in the wrestling room of the high school. Ever since they were in middle school, they had reportedly been punching each other as a birthday celebration.

Although the victim did not appear to have serious injuries the remainder of that school day, he exhibited signs of serious physical distress that evening.

His parents took him to Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital for an examination. Physicians then determined that he needed emergency surgery to repair major internal injuries.

According to reports, the victim is now at home recovering from his wounds.

Hood River County District Attorney John Sewell decided to take a tough stand on the incident. He charged all of the involved youth with a felony crime and had deputies arrest some of them at school and others at home.

The 10 juveniles and Cruz Bolanos Guzman, 18, were offered a plea deal for the lesser charge of third-degree assault. They face penalties for a second-degree crime if they proceed to trial. That could bring a mandatory Measure 11 sentence of 70 months in prison and up to a $250,000 fine for all but the two 14-year-olds.

All of the remaining suspects are now out of jail but are on house arrest until their individual cases have been resolved. They will all make court appearances to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty on either July 10 or 17.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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