Last September, while beginning my senior year here at John Carroll, I made a poor momentary split second decision that has had a profound negative impact on my life and the life of others. I responded to an aggravating situation at a college party in my apartment by throwing a single punch at another student who was violating my personal property without permission. I would have never imagined the numerous consequences of that single split second act of anger. Although I never intended to cause any serious injury nor even intended to actually even hurt this person, the student suffered a serious injury to his eye as a result of me not realizing he was wearing glasses. He was hospitalized and has undergone continuing medical procedures. Although I did not intend to injure this student, immediately attempted to assist him afterward, and told the police the truth as to what I did, I was still arrested, prosecuted and subjected to Ohio court proceedings. I now know the law doesn’t take into account what we intend to do, it simply looks at the results we cause.
The legal consequences and penalties for my momentary lapse in judgment have been terribly costly. I was thrown out of our school for at least two years as a graduating senior, incurred legal fees, and spent more than a month in jail. I will also have to pay a substantial amount of money in restitution to the victim. Additionally, I am on probation, and as a result, have incurred other limits on my freedom that we all just take for granted. More importantly than the negative impact this tragic event has had upon me, this situation has been terribly stressful and burdensome on my family and close friends. I have also learned in court about the amount of stress and worry I caused the victim and his family, none of which I would have ever intended. I am truly ashamed and sorry to have brought such troubles upon all of these undeserving people.
I hope that anyone who reads this will seriously think twice before ever striking another student or person for the rest of their lives. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t wish or pray that I would have done something else instead of throwing my fist at this person just to get his attention. I had no idea how serious and how many nightmares and serious consequences a single haphazard punch could cause. That evening and one instant in September has truly turned my life upside down in ways I would have never imagined. I would never want anyone to have to go through this. Often young people don’t think about things before they do them, and I hope others can learn from this mistake. One momentary mistake in self-control changed many lives, and not just mine, in a very bad and real way. I would never wish for anyone at John Carroll, nor anyone anywhere for that matter, nor their family and friends to have to go through something like this. I would have never believed that my senior year here would have involved hurting someone, getting expelled, nor having to spend more time in jail than in the classroom. Please realize that all of this can happen and that life can change in an instant when we react as opposed to think about the potential results of our actions.