Pittsburgh, PA – The parents of Austin Babinsack, a 16-year-old soccer player with autism, are not pressing charges against the two upperclassmen who duct-taped their son to a goal post. Autism Daily Newscast reported on the story here. Instead John and Kristi Babinsack want the guilty teens to apologize, do community service, and complete autism awareness training.
The Babibsacks of Natrona Heights met with their attorney Phil DiLucente who said that the parents don’t want police to file juvenile court charges provided they compete the criteria listed above, adding that details are till being worked out. DiLucente met with Associated Press and reiterated the parents wish for no charges. He said,
“I don’t think, nor do the parents think, it will be necessary to press charges.”
DiLucente is working with Harrison Township police Chief Michael Klein and Highlands School District Superintendent Michael Bjalobok to get resolution after the parents met with the Superintendent themselves. The district agreed to ensure to cease any form of bulling Austin has dealt with since his parents went public about the incident.
The duct-taping took place on October 5th as part of a yearly ritual in which senior players homes are toilet papered. Usually taking place in the same week as the teams final home game, known as Senior Night, past players noted that parents and players knew that duct-taping a player to a goal post was part of the ritual. DiLucente disagreed with notion, telling the AP that:
“The parents know from the boosters that there is toilet papering of senior’s homes, everybody knows that happens on that night. But it is not a ritual that someone gets taped to the soccer goal post,”
Austin was freed from the tape after witnesses heard him screaming at the top of lungs for 20 minutes. The final home game was canceled after the incident became known.
According to school officials the two that did the taping have been suspend for five days and were disciplined. School coach Jim Turner was unaware of the incident and didn’t condone it once he found out. He has since been suspended and will return once a resolution is reached.
The original story by Joe Mandak on The Big Story AP website can be read here