I’m hoping … hoping … that his is an example of a dim bulb prosecutor bringing big stupid charges to get some publicity before he pleads down to something more sensible. I’m hoping that because the alternative is that Phil Caviness is a power-crazed moron who has been given way too much authority:
[18 year old high school senior Tyell] Morton was arrested Tuesday after school surveillance cameras captured a picture of a man dressed in a hooded sweatshirt and wearing latex gloves, concealing a package and leaving without it. Believing it contained explosives, the school was evacuated and the Indiana State Police bomb squad was called in. It turns out that the package contained a blow-up doll placed in the girls’ restroom. Police say that Morton admitted putting it there as a prank.
He’s now charged with felony criminal mischief for a hoax that the teen’s family says doesn’t rise to the level of criminal charges.
He’s facing eight years in prison — five more than he’d be facing if he’d brought a gun to school. The school’s defense is that their massive over-reaction to a package cost them $8000. The prosecutor’s?
“In this post-Columbine world, that’s what you get when these kinds of things happen,” said Rush County Prosecutor Phil Caviness.
So placing a blow-up doll in a bathroom warrants a reaction similar to how we might react to the cold-blooded murders of 15 children. Nicely done, Phil Caviness. Nice sense of proportion.
I suppose Mr. Morton — who was incidentally set to graduate and has never been in trouble with the law — should feel lucky. In the world envisioned by school administrators and prosecutors swollen with their own sense of power, he’s lucky they didn’t shoot him right there in the hallway.