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February 5, 2014 at 2:35 PM

13-year-old sentenced to 4 months for Westlake Mall attack

A 13-year-old boy pleaded guilty today to first-degree attempted robbery, two counts of fourth-degree assault and one count of third-degree theft in the beating of a Westlake Mall concierge and assault of two teens in two separate incidents last summer, according to the King County Prosecutor’s Office.

Under a plea deal, the boy was sentenced to 120 days in detention, and an additional 15 to 36 weeks in the Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration that are suspended on the condition he completes a year of probation, 48 hours of community service and other conditions, the Prosecutor’s Office said.

The victim of the Westlake Mall attack, Joseph Crudo, said that given the boy’s age, he approved of the deal  negotiated between prosecutors and the boy’s  attorney, However, he said in an email on Wednesday that he had wanted to have a meaningful conversation with the child, an arrangement he said the legal system did not allow. A no-contact order was issued by the judge that bans the boy from having contact with Crudo, the other victims and the unidentified adult friends he was with when the attacks occurred.

According to Crudo and court documents, he was working at the Seaboard residential and office building at Westlake Mall on July 18 when he saw 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 Seattle 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 Westlake employee approached, court documents say.

Crudo suffered a broken arm and nose, a concussion and knee injury in the attack.

Crudo said he had watched the boy  all summer at Westlake Park.  “He was here all day, playing craps, or picking the pocket of someone who was being victimized. That’s his thing,” Crudo told The Times.

The 13-year-old was originally charged with first-degree robbery in connection with the attack on Crudo and with theft and two counts of fourth-degree assault in another attack on three young skateboarders in the park a month later.

The assaults at Westlake 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.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: assault, attempted robbery, juvenile crime


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