The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Montour County

June 11, 2014

Man, 18, apologizes for attacking detention unit staff

DANVILLE — An 18-year-old man apologized for beating up three staff members and a teacher at North Central Secure Treatment Unit.

With the victims on hand in Montour County Court, Tyler Jamir Blango said, “I had no reason to hurt you.”

He told Judge Gary Norton he took responsibility for his actions.

Blango pleaded guilty Monday to four counts of aggravated assault and simple assault. The aggravated assault charges occurred Sept. 9, involving Justin Boatwright, and March 11, with victims Mike Bavero, Nick Kerstetter, Joshua Kleha and Nick Edmeads whom he punched.

Blango’s attorney, Laurie Pickle, asked for concurrent jail terms for her client who has been in and out of foster care since he was 10.

County District Attorney Rebecca Warren said a plea had been worked out following the first aggravated assault but other attacks followed. She said two attacks occurred in the same day.

“This is serious stuff in one of the most secure environments,” Norton said of the incidents at North Central — a maximum security juvenile detention facility in Mahoning Township.

“You have got to learn how to act if you are going to spend time out in the world,” he told Blango who has been confined to the county jail.

He sentenced Blango to six months to one year in state prison for aggravated assault, gave him credit for 91 days served in jail and fined him $500. He sentenced him to six months to one year in jail and fined him $500 to a consecutive term for aggravated assault. For a third aggravated assault charge, Norton sentenced him to a consecutive six months to one year jail term and fined him $500. He sentenced him to the same jail term, also consecutive, and fine for a fourth aggravated assault charge. For simple assault, Blango was fined $300 and sentenced to a consecutive jail term of one to two months in prison.

Blango earlier told police he assaulted the staff members and teacher because he wanted out and lodged in a county or state prison.

In the first incident March 11, Blango was seen on surveillance video running toward staff members Bavero and Edmeads and Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit teacher Joshua Kleha. Blango threw punches at them as he was wrestled to the ground by staff members. He also spit on them, police said.

Bavero sought medical attention for lacerations to his forehead, nose and mouth. Edmeads, who was able to remain at work, deflected five to six punches but was spit on, police said. Kleha was treated for a head injury.

In the second incident March 11, Blango was seen on video launching an unprovoked attack on staff member Nicholas Kerstetter, punching him in the side of the face. Police said Kerstetter remained at work despite head and neck pain.

Email comments to kblackledge@thedanvillenews.com.

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