A Mercer High School student has been charged as an adult for allegedly assaulting a classmate at school, causing injuries that sent the girl to the hospital, according to court documents.
Timothy Christopher Dunham, 17, Coolspring Township, was charged Dec. 9 by Mercer police with aggravated assault, which is a second-degree felony, simple assault and two counts each of harassment and disorderly conduct in connection with two incidents involving a 17-year-old girl.
He was arraigned Dec. 10 by District Judge D. Neil McEwen, Pine Township, and released after posting $50,000 bond. His preliminary hearing is 10:30 a.m. Jan. 7 with McEwen.
The case was filed with District Judge Lorinda L. Hinch, Mercer, but has been transferred to McEwen. Hinch excused herself from the case but didn't disclose why the transfer was made.
Mercer Area School District Superintendent Dr. William D. Gathers on Monday had no comment on the case nor did he disclose whether Timothy has been disciplined by school officials.
Timothy's attorney, Michael T. Muha, Hermitage, declined comment at this time.
According to the criminal complaint:
Robert L. Davis, a patrolman with the Mercer police department, was on duty Oct. 24 at the high school when the girl reported to him that Timothy picked up her desk while she was sitting in it during class and slammed it to the ground.
Davis was on patrol again Nov. 13 at the high school when he was dispatched around 9:45 a.m. by another patrolman, who reported a Nov. 10 classroom incident involving the girl and Timothy.
Davis then spoke with the girl's mother, who said Timothy hit her daughter in the head and neck area with 5-by-7-inch wooden board. The girl was dizzy when she got home that day and started to vomit later that night.
The girl's mother took her to Children's Hospital, Pittsburgh, and she was scheduled for surgery Nov. 12 to replace a shunt, which had malfunctioned.
Davis on Nov. 14 met with Assistant Principal Greg Acre, who had spoken to Timothy; he admitted to hitting the girl, but said he hit her shoulder.
Acre spoke to several other students who were in the same classroom at that time. One student said he saw Timothy hitting the girl, but it was "more of a tap."
That student told Davis he saw Timothy swinging a piece of wood he got from art class, and he watched Timothy hit the girl in the head with the board.
Another student told Davis about a conversation he had with Timothy on Nov. 12 at school. He had asked Timothy what happened to the girl and if he had hit her.
Timothy said, "Yeah, I (expletive) hit her."
The student asked him why, to which Timothy said she was annoying and "wouldn't get out of my way and I'm tired of her (expletive)." Timothy also mentioned he had heard the girl had to have surgery.
When the student asked Timothy how old he was, he replied, "17, so I could care less…They won't do (expletive) to me…My dad ain't worried either."
Davis on Nov. 18 asked the art teacher if Timothy had returned the wooden board to her classroom, and she said he refused.
The teacher gave Davis an identical board for evidence.
Published Dec. 17 in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201 A Erie St., Grove City.