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COMMONWEALTH v. ABNEY ET AL. (06/15/61)

June 15, 1961

COMMONWEALTH
v.
ABNEY ET AL., APPELLANTS.



Appeals, Nos. 44, 45, 48, 50, and 52, Oct. T., 1961, from judgments of Court of Quarter Sessions of Montgomery County, Sept. T., 1959, No. 85, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Charles Abney et al. Judgments of sentence affirmed.

COUNSEL

Leon H. Fox, Jr., with him Fox and Fox, for appellants.

Jules Bell, Assistant District Attorney, with him Harold W. Spencer, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Ervin, Wright, Woodside, Watkins, Montgomery, and Flood, JJ.

Author: Woodside

[ 195 Pa. Super. Page 319]

OPINION BY WOODSIDE, J.

This is an appeal by five of 14 defendants who were sentenced after a jury found them guilty of participating in a riot. The appellants contend that the judgments of sentence imposed upon them should be arrested, or in lieu thereof, that a new trial should be granted each of them.

Following a football game on September 25, 1959, in Norristown between the high schools of that borough and of Ridley Township, a continual series of violent and turbulent acts was perpetrated by a group of Norristown boys. The conduct of these boys far surpassed the exuberance of excited partisans which sometimes times explodes following athletic contests, and which is generally accepted and endured, sometimes even enjoyed, by the spectators.

This group of Norristown boys attacked the Ridley Township students. The attack was violent, brutal and indecent. The assailants charged into the visiting color guards and band members, knocking at least one girl to the ground. They indecently assaulted the uniformed girls by feeling their breasts and pulling at their shorts. One assailant grabbed a girl by the arm and pulled her down the street. A number of the girls became hysterical. Five of the boys knocked one of the Ridley Township students to the ground twice and jumped on him and beat him. They hit another student in the mouth, another on the hand, another on the shoulder, another on the arm, another on the leg, another in the eye. They hit another of the Ridley Township

[ 195 Pa. Super. Page 320]

    boys over the head with a pipe, causing him to temporarily lose the sight of an eye. When the visiting boys and girls sought refuge in their automobiles and buses, the assailants followed them into the buses and cars, and continued the attacks. In one of the buses, they felt the girls' breasts and pulled at their pants, and kicked the boys. The Ridley Township bus windows were broken, and students were hurt by flying glass. A number of stitches were required to close the wound of one of the injured students. A bottle was thrown at a police car .

As aptly stated by the court below, "It may be needless to observe that this occasion was terrifying to the Ridley Township pupils and to adults who supervised and accompanied them."

As those accused of participating in this violence were juveniles, a petition was presented to the Juvenile Court of Montgomery County to have them declared delinquent. Most of the accused denied their participating in the disturbance, and following a practice in Montgomery County not here questioned, the cases of those denying their guilt were certified to the Court of Quarter Sessions for trial and disposition. See § 18 of the Act of June 2, 1933, P.L. 1433, 11 P.S. § 260; Trignani's Case, 150 Pa. Superior Ct. 491, 28 A.2d 702 (1942); ...


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