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March 28, 2014

Boot camp for teens who attacked athletic director

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal —

State prison and a military-style boot camp is what awaits the teens who attacked the Lockport City School District's athletic director and a high school hall monitor last December.

Jesse F. James, 18, 131 Caledonia St., lower apartment, and Deandre T. Reed, 16, 222 Washington St., were sentenced Friday to one to three years in state prison. Niagara County Judge Sara S. Farkas granted each youthful offender status and recommended they be sent to shock incarceration, the state prison system's six-month boot camp.

"Hopefully, this will be the wakeup call you need," Farkas told Reed.

Both teens will be paroled after shock incarceration is complete, if they succeed in the program. If not, they will serve the full sentence, meaning they are eligible for parole after a year.

James and Reed pleaded guilty in January to second-degree attempted assault, a class E nonviolent felony. The pleas were to charges that were reduced from the assault charge they were arrested for in December, when they attacked Athletic Director Pat Burke and school monitor, George Apolito, Jr., 67.

Burke, 55, suffered cuts to the face and lip, a bloody nose and may have broken his pinky finger, Lockport Police said. Apolito suffered cuts to the face, lip and hand. One of Apolito’s teeth was loosened and his glasses were broken during the melee, police said. 

According to police, James and Reed were being “vulgar” during a scrimmage basketball game between Lockport and Williamsville North. While Burke and Apolito tried to escort two out of the building at about 7 p.m., James and Reed began punching them in the head and face.

The teens, both intoxicated, were found by officers later and arrested. They were taken to Niagara County Jail where they've been since.

The assault has come up in discussion as the district is considering security upgrades at the high school and for after school events.

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