Cody Scott seemed to be mowed down by the punishment that came his way on Tuesday when he stood before Judge Michael Cicconetti in Painesville, Ohio.
The 19-year-old found himself in Cicconetti’s municipal court after he and some of his friends mowed obscenities into the lawn of Fairport Harding High School in June, according to Fox 8 in Cleveland.
On Tuesday, Cicconetti — who is known for creatively matching the punishment with the crime — let Scott pick his own penance.
With his eyes sheepishly cast down and an expression that suggested a bit of fear, the teen walked to the lectern in front of Cicconetti’s bench when the man known as @JudgeChick on Twitter called him forth.
As seen in video of the hearing posted on the WKYC website, Cicconetti began by reminding the teen of his crime.
Scott and some of his friends used a lawn mower to cut “about five obscenities” into the high school’s lawn, the judge said. They carved the shape of a penis, F U and “F me, which you apparently did, but you were a co-conspirator on all the others,” Cicconetti said.
“Why in the world did you do that?” the judge asked. “I mean, you know that it’s public property. Neighbors called in and complained about it because their children were viewing the obscenities and the picture of whatever it was, on the lawn. Why, just tell me why in the world you would do something like that?”
“I was being childish, I shouldn’t have done it. i … was being childish,” Scott said.
Cicconetti mentioned at the outset that Scott was convicted of criminal mischief and criminal trespass, which combined carried a possible sentence of 90 days in jail and $750 in fines. Cicconetti suspended most of the jail time.
“I know one of the choices I wanted to do, but I couldn’t do it,” the judge told him. “One was to have you run without pads with the defensive line of (the) Fairport Skippers football team for destroying their property, but I can’t do that.
“So you’ve got two other choices. One is 10 days in jail, OK? Or the other choice is to mow the practice lawn.”
But, the judge said, “there’s a little catch to it. You’re going to do it with this lawn mower … it might take a little while to do it.”
Out walked a man pushing a good old-fashioned cordless mower, the kind that is powered by movement. The man set it beside Scott.
Scott looked at it and said, “I’ll mow with that.”
Cicconetti also ordered Scott, who said he works at McDonald’s, to get his GED, stay off the high school’s property — presumably after his penitential mowing — to stay away from his co-defendant friends, too.
Cicconetti has a reputation for personalizing sentences. Most recently, in July, he sentenced a young man convicted of vandalizing a Painesville park to “follow horses around” at the county fair and pick up their poop, according to News 5 in Cleveland.
“You act like an animal, you’re going to take care of animals,” Cicconetti told Bayley Toth.
“You can go with the horses, sheep, goats, cows and pigs at the fair and you can shovel up their crap … You want to screw around with crap, let you do it.”
Cicconetti also gave Toth an 11 p.m. curfew, ordered him to take at least six credit hours at college this fall and to stay out of county parks, according to News 5. The judge also assigned Toth’s mom to act as his probation officer.
Cicconetti told Scott the only reason he gave him the option of mowing to pay for his crime “is because you are showing some remorse and respect for the court … Good job.”
With WKYC’s TV cameras rolling, Scott mowed the high school field Wednesday morning.
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