PAINESVILLE, Ohio-- Three Perry teenagers were making music and drawing a crowd at the “Party in the Park” in downtown Painesville Friday night.
The 18-year-old young men weren’t with a band; rather, they were wearing masks and dressed in green from head to toe to avoid “orange jumpers” and jail time.
It’s day one of community service to avoid 15 days in jail as part of a creative sentencing by Painesville Municipal Court Judge Michael Cicconetti.
Judge Cicconetti is known for his unusual and creative sentences including having a drunk driver visit a morgue.
Eric Gallion, Jr., Brendan Corey, and Timothy Castiglione were arrested and found guilty of criminal mischief after playing a game called “ding-dong-ditch” at a home in Lake County. They ran up to the house, knocked on the door and then ran away.
“So we just went to the house, knocked and I guess they had a camera and got us,” said Eric Gallion, Jr., one of the teens in trouble.
The video also showed damage to the homeowner’s door and splattered paint from a paintball grenade, for which one of the teens will have to pay restitution.
Judge Cicconetti gave them all a choice: They could serve 15 days in jail or do three days of community service at the Painesville Party in the Park, which runs Friday July 19 through Sunday July 21.
Their service includes dressing up like the “Green Man Group” and beating drums all day in support of Lake Metroparks.
They must also pick up trash and pass out literature on recycling and eco-friendly practices.
The sentence also includes an element of competition.
When trash collection vehicles arrive, the young men must race. Whoever arrives at the truck last the most number of times will be required to perform eight extra hours of community service.
Lillie Wilson, from Lil Willies BBQ which sits across from the teens said, “I like his (Cicconetti’s) methods; I really like his methods.”
In fact most people at the festival agreed with the judge.
Larry Wilson said, ”The punishment will stick with them for a long time.”
And that’s the ultimate goal: to get these guys marching to the beat of a different drummer, so that they stay out of trouble and to deter others from following in their footsteps.
“After 90 some degrees today and being in this heat, the message is going out to anybody else that thinks maybe they want to do something like this. If you're caught in our court's jurisdiction, this may be you,” said David Washlock, probation supervisor for the Painesville court.
All three young men are first-time offenders.
If they complete the sentence, they will be given the opportunity to participate in the diversion program.