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Beaver County victim upset attacker gets only probation

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By Bill Vidonic
Thursday, April 17, 2014, 11:18 p.m.
 

A 15-year-old boy attacked in his Beaver County school last year said on Thursday he was disappointed that his assailant only got probation.

“That really upset me a lot,” said Zach Montgomery of Center. “I'm just afraid that he's going to go after someone else.”

Beaver County President Judge John D. McBride determined Montgomery's attacker to be delinquent on an aggravated assault charge and placed him under court supervision to undergo counseling.

District Attorney Anthony Berosh said the boy, 14, could be released from supervision before he is 18, depending on his progress. McBride could not be reached. The boy's attorney, Steven Valsamidis, said his client had been bullied in the past, but he was “remorseful and he appreciates the seriousness of his actions.”

“While there may have been a history of bullying with other boys, my client in this case acted out which made him no better,” Valsamidis said.

The boy attacked Montgomery inside the cafeteria of Central Valley High School in Center on Oct. 2, police said. The attack, caught on surveillance video, was unprovoked but appeared to be premeditated, police said. The boy punched Montgomery in the head about 20 times, police said.

Center police Chief Barry Kramer said he would have preferred harsher punishment for Montgomery's attacker.

“What message does that send to prospective bullies? It doesn't send a strong message that bullying will not be tolerated,” Kramer said.

The boy claimed Montgomery had said something about the boy's mother, police said, but there was no evidence to support that. Montgomery said he didn't have problems at the school before the attack.

Montgomery, who has Asper­ger's syndrome, suffered a concussion and other injuries, Seger said. He suffers from post-traumatic stress and undergoes therapy. He now attends St. Stephen's Lutheran Academy in Zelienople and plans to enroll in another school district in the fall.

Rhonda Seger, Montgomery's mother, said she hoped his attacker would have to do time in a detention facility.

“I think he needed to be shown that he can't do this to people,” Seger said.

Bill Vidonic is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-380-5621.

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