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A 13-year-old Who Was Involved in the Attack in Downtown Tells the Judge, “I Wasn’t in My Right Mind”


A 13-year-old boy was one of the seven teens charged in two attacks that happened downtown in January and seemed to be unrelated to each other.

In one case, a 15-year-old boy was attacked by a big group on East Fifth Street in the afternoon of January 24.

The teen was thrown to the ground. Seven attackers circled him and hit and kicked him over and over until he couldn’t move. The eighth person then came up and punched and kicked him.

Judge Kari Bloom asked the 13-year-old in Hamilton County Juvenile Court on Wednesday to explain why he took part in the attack and punched and kicked the victim, even though he looked like he was asleep.

The boy told Bloom that he was hanging out with the wrong people. The boy was wearing a gray polo shirt, black pants, and gray shoes, which is the uniform for kids who are in the county Youth Center.

“I wasn’t in the right frame of mind,” he said. “I was being pushed to do that.”

Officials also learned that the 13-year-old, who went to Robert A. Taft Information Technology High School, was in a gang at the time.

It was one of several meetings on Wednesday for teens who were involved in the events in January. The thirteen-year-old had already accepted his part and pleaded guilty to felony assault.

Bloom put him on probation and told him he would be sent to a center for troubled teens in northern Ohio where everyone is locked up. He will go to school there, go through cognitive behavioral therapy, and, if necessary, get help for his mental health. The 13-year-old said he is in the eighth grade. Bloom told him that he would be at the center until ninth grade.

Also on Wednesday, a 15-year-old boy who admits to attacking a 45-year-old man on East Sixth Street went to see Bloom. That event took place in the evening of January 23.

A video showed that the man was walking on the path when several people came up behind him and hit him on the ground. He kept getting kicked, even when he was already on the ground. A black eye happened to him, and his phone broke.

Prosecutors said the man didn’t know the teens who beat him up and didn’t speak English.

Prosecutors say that four teens, including the 15-year-old boy, have pleaded guilty to minor assault in that case.

Bloom put the 15-year-old on probation on Wednesday. Bloom told him that he would go to the county youth center “until I decide what to do with you otherwise” if he broke his deal with her.

The 15-year-old had never been in trouble with the law before.

Bloom told him that she couldn’t send him to a youth jail because it was against the law in her state. She said she had to take other steps first.

She told him to stay away from Downtown and that he had to switch high schools next year.

Three more people who have pleaded guilty in at least one of the January killings will now have their hearings later this month, which was changed on Wednesday. An 18-year-old who is being charged as an adult in the Jan. 23 event is still waiting to be tried.

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