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Md. Teen Charged After Snowball Hits Girl

By Joshua Partlow
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, March 3, 2005; Page B08

A 14-year-old Annapolis boy was arrested and charged with assault after throwing a snowball that hit a girl in the face, city police said. They said the girl and her friends had told him to stop throwing at them.

The incident occurred Tuesday night outside the Harbor House apartment complex, police spokesman Hal Dalton said. The youth, who lives at the complex, began to hurl snowballs at four or five girls who also live there, Dalton said.

The girls told him to stop, repeating the message three times, Dalton said. "I guess he thought it was funny," Dalton said. "They did not."

A 14-year-old girl was struck under the right eye, which became bruised and swollen, Dalton said. He said that the girl declined medical treatment but that her injury contributed to the decision to file a charge of assault. The boy was not identified because he is a juvenile.

"This was not playful," Dalton said, explaining why the boy was charged with assault. "If it was summer and somebody threw a tennis ball at you, it would be the same thing. If you throw it and it's not wanted, it's assault."

Arrests and charges connected with snowball throwing are not unprecedented. Dalton said it is not uncommon to have two or three a year.

In Annapolis, he said, such incidents usually lead to a Maryland Department of Juvenile Services hearing. A hearing was set for March 15, Dalton said. "They might give him community service. They might have him apologize. Who knows?" Dalton said. "Nine times out of 10, it ends without formal juvenile action."

The boy was released to the custody of his mother.

Staff researcher Meg Smith and staff writer Martin Weil contributed to this report.

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