Teen must attend boot camp, complete community service
SUNBURY - A teen adjudicated delinquent last month on felonies of robbery and aggravated assault and a misdemeanor of possessing instruments of crime was ordered Tuesday to attend a boot camp program, pay restitution, fines and costs, and complete community service.
Northumberland County Judge William Wiest issued the disposition (sentencing) on Joel Santiago, 16, of 819 E. Dewart St., Shamokin, who was charged by Shamokin Patrolman Raymond Siko in connection with a Jan. 6 armed robbery of a cell phone owned by David McKimm, 19, of 158 N. Eighth St., Shamokin, near the victim's home. Santiago, who is currently in the shelter care program at Northwestern Academy, will be transferred to the boot camp program there for 90 days, at which time an evaluation will be conducted on his progress to determine if he is released from the facility.
The judge ordered the teen, who was 15 when initially charged as an adult, to perform 30 hours of community service, write a letter of apology to McKimm no later than June 1, make $26.50 restitution to McKimm for his cell phone, pay $150 in supervision fees, $50 in court costs and $25 to the Crime Victim's Compensation Fund.
Santiago, who was placed under the supervision of Northumberland County Juvenile Court Services, also must pay $25 to the Juvenile Court Restitution Fund and $5 per month in which he remains under supervision. He will be subject to drug and alcohol testing and must abide by all conditions set forth by juvenile court services, including family service plans and informal agreements, as well as state, federal and local ordinances and laws.
Santiago declined to address the court when given the opportunity by Wiest. His mother, Sadie Alequin, sat by his side at the defense table during the disposition hearing,
'Has been progressing'
County conflicts counsel John Broda, who represented Santiago, said his number one objective was to get the case transferred from adult to juvenile court, which he accomplished. "My client has been progressing in his placements and I hope he continues to progress," Broda said. "He has had no problems since being released from the county jail April 15."
Northumberland County District Attorney Tony Rosini, who prosecuted the case, said, "I believe he (Santiago) deserved a severe punishment because these are serious offenses. Boot camp offers a closed setting, and hopefully it will have a desired effect on him."
Being adjudicated delinquent in juvenile court is the equivalent of being found guilty in adult court.
Additional charges of simple assault and loitering and prowling at night were not prosecuted.
Santiago, who is originally from Puerto Rico, has lived in the area for two years.
Santiago is accused of approaching McKimm at about 9:15 p.m. and telling him he had five seconds to hand over his cell phone while threatening the victim with what appeared to be a handgun.
McKimm told police he threw his black T-Mobile phone, ran into his home and called police.
A short time later, guns drawn, police took Santiago into custody about six blocks away after they found him lying next to a parked car on Commerce Street between The News-Item and Center City Apartments.
Siko said the weapon allegedly used by Santiago, which was recovered, is a compressed-air pellet gun that is a replica of a semi-automatic handgun.
Santiago also was charged by Siko in connection with vehicle break-ins the same night.
Police said some coins were removed from a Jeep on North Eighth Street owned by Dennis Cavanaugh shortly before Santiago allegedly threatened McKimm with the gun.