WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Two teenagers are facing charges in connection with the assault of the 76-year old security guard at a Williamsport basketball court.
Williamsport Bureau of Police confirmed to Eyewitness News that two suspects, a 15 and 17-year-old have been petitioned to juvenile court on charges of simple assault and harassment stemming from the incident which was posted to social media last week. Video posted online shows 76-year-old Richard Parker falling to the ground after being struck on the head with a basketball.
The basketball courts had been shut down by Firetree Place last week pending information from community members that led to an identification of those involved. Firetree Place Executive Director Billy Dayton says the courts will reopen in the near future, with no set date yet, but in the next week or two.
“It be messed up because this is where people come to get stuff off their mind and play ball and stuff. So for it to be closed down, I understand for people to be mad,” Williamsport resident Nakir Chambers said.
The courts are now cleared to reopen. Dayton says he’s eager to return a valuable community resource.
“It’s unfortunate that this happened but I am happy with the swiftness of this so that we can get the courts opened up and the community back up to playing basketball,” Dayton said.
Dayton would not draw a straight line from that initiative to the charges filed, but praised community “support and input” in helping resolve the issue.
“The community came forward and gave their support and hopefully that’s something that only continues to grow with the courts being open,” Dayton said.
The suspects are not being identified as the case is being processed through the juvenile court system.
As of Wednesday afternoon, there has been no exact date to reopen the courts but officials with Firetree Place say a more formal announcement will be coming in the near future.