A man has been jailed for teasing a disabled girl after he was recorded taunting a 10 year old who suffered with cerebral palsy.
William Bailey, a 43 year old man from Ohio, was jailed for 29 days by Judge John A. Poulos of the Canton Municipal Court on Nov. 27, after the video went viral with viewers horrified at the treatment of the young girl.
The video was in fact filmed back on Sept. 26, when mother Tricia Knight was waiting with her mother in law for her three children to arrive back from school on the school bus. Knight's three children, including 10-year-old Hope, who suffers from cerebral palsy, attend Walker Elementary with the man's 9-year-old son, Joseph.
The mother in law, Marie Prince, reportedly caught what happened next on video by using an iPod.
Knight reported that she saw Bailey "dragging his leg and patting his arm across his chest to pick his son Joseph up. I asked him to please stop doing this. 'My daughter can see you.' He then told his son to walk like the R-word."
So disgusted were they by Prince's actions and mocking of their disabled girl, that Knight posted the video of Bailey on her Facebook page, while Prince uploaded it to YouTube. The video was titled "Bus Stop Ignorance."
The video went viral as stunned viewers couldn't believe what they were seeing.
The Knight family also followed up the incident by filing a complaint with Canton City prosecutors against Bailey, who has in fact lived next door to the Knight family for the past two years.
Jennifer Fitzsimmons, the chief assistant city prosecutor, reviewed the case and the video and decided to push forward with a prosecution. She said, "It was settled without Hope having to relive what she saw and how it impacted her. I think the trial could have been just as traumatic as the event itself."
Bailey was in fact charged for two offenses. One for aggravated menacing for an incident that happened earlier in the day prior to the mocking of the disabled girl. In that incident he "was swinging a tow chain on his porch, saying he was going to choke me until I stopped twitching. I sent my kids with my mother-in-law to leave with them. My husband called the sheriff," reported Knight.
In Ohio, a menacing charge carries a maximum of 30 days in jail.
The bus stop incident was the second charge and is a disorderly conduct charge. A disorderly conduct is a minor misdemeanor and carries no jail time.
However, despite the sentence technically only reflecting the aggravated menacing charge, Fitzsimmons has explained how the plea deal agreed allowed the sentence to cover his actions toward 10 year old Hope as well. She said, "Because the menacing misdemeanor charge was directed toward Hope's mother, and they're all interrelated, the judge took into account all the actions of Mr. Bailey and the entire Holcomb family."
Bailey's sentence will go into effect on Jan. 2.
Hope was born with cerebral palsy after being born 11 weeks premature at 29 weeks gestation, after her mother was involved in a head-on motor vehicle collision. She weighed just 2 pounds 12 ounces when born and required two brain surgeries, according to reports.