Angry Texan Found Guilty of Using His Wheelchair as a Weapon
This story takes road rage to whole other level.
A Texas jury took only five minutes to decide to send a man to jail for using his electric wheelchair as a weapon outside a middle school.
The Paris News reported that John Alfred Petersen was sentenced to one year in state jail on Thursday, July 22, for repeatedly ramming a car waiting in the pickup line at Crockett Intermediate School in Paris, Texas.
Before school parents intervened, Petersen caused $3,000 worth of damage. A jury found him guilty of felony criminal mischief.
It is unclear why Petersen was at the middle school, but this isn't the first time he has hounded drivers with his wheelchair.
In December 2018, he was on probation for a "similar episode of vandalism."
Clay Johnson, Petersen's attorney, asked Petersen if he felt remorse for his actions after he was convicted.
Petersen answered, "no."
“The jury's verdict and 1-year sentence show that our community is sick of Petersen's repeated vandalism and harassment of drivers,” Assistant District Attorney Nick Stallings told the newspaper.
Petersen is awaiting trial for a criminal mischief charge for an incident that occurred in January of 2021.
If I was in a wheelchair, the last thing I would do is use it as a weapon. Seems like you'd do just as much damage to your expensive motorized chair.
But judging from the court records, Petersen doesn't seem to mind risking the machine that gives him mobility by vandalizing something using the motorized wheelchair as a battering ram.
I wonder what sort of chair he'll have in jail and if he'll use it to assault anyone or vandalize anything there.
If so, how will they prevent something like that from happening? Take him out of his wheelchair and put him in solitary confinement, or keep him in solitary confinement with the wheelchair?
I'm really not trying to make light of this situation. Reading about someone like Petersen makes you wonder if he'll continue to act out and risk hurting other people and himself, but also why he's acting out. It's a sad situation.