FRIDAY, JULY 11, 2014
FRIDAY, JULY 11, 2014COMMUNITY NEWS
20-YR JAIL FOR KNIFE ATTACK ON PROF BY A STAFF WRITER
RBANA (IL) — A 26-yearold man who slashed A.U. Dhammika Dharmapala’s throat while making an apparent reference to the victim’s race, was sentenced to 20 years in prison on June 16. Joshua Scaggs will have to serve at least 17 years for the attempted first-degree murder of 44-year-old Dharmapala, a University of Illinois law professor. Dharmapala, a US citizen of South Asian origin, was sitting in the Illinois Terminal in downtown Champaign waiting for a train to Chicago about 5.40 am on December 7, 2011, when Scaggs jumped from a nearby seat and lunged at him with a knife, shouting “This is my country. I will kill you.” Scaggs retreated for an instant before plunging the knife into Dharmapala’s neck. After being in a mental institution for more than two years to become fit to stand trial, Scaggs pleaded guilty in May to attempted first-degree murder in exchange for a promise from Assistant State’s Attorney Steve Ziegler that he would seek no more than 20 years in prison. Ziegler also dismissed two other aggravated
Prof A.U. Dhammika Dharmapala
battery counts. In an emotionally-charged sentencing hearing, Judge Harry Clem called Scaggs’s actions “one of the most appalling crimes to ever come before this judge’s bench.” About 60 people, mostly supporters of Dharmapala, packed the courtroom. “It is a crime where the defendant saw
a person he thought was from a different country and attacked that person in a way that his intent was to kill him,” Clem said. Scaggs cried as he sought forgiveness from Dharmapala. “I can’t say ‘I apologize’ enough to you, sir, for what I did to you and your family. I’m sorry for your emotional stress and pain
Youngsters bowled over by MYCA plans
BY A STAFF WRITER
T LOUIS, MO-The Missouri Youth Cricket Association (MYCA), a registered non-profit organization led by Priya Singh, has done what seemed like a distant dream a few years ago. Within two years, the MYCA now has a dedicated youth cricket facility at Bales Park (St. Charles, MO) with a turfed main pitch and two turfed practice pitches with nets. It has 8-year-old kids, both girls and boys, playing proper cricket with a leather ball and dis well at the recent national youth tournament in Dallas on July 4. MYCA has two teams Under 12 and Under 16. All this progress within two years due to dedicated coaches at the MYCA Cricket Academy. On June 14, the MYCA hosted a U13 Cricket Tournament against a youth team from Bollingbrook, and the Mayor of St.Charles, Ms.Sally Faith, visited the MYCA and offered her support towards youth cricket development. The match was covered by Fox 2 News. The MYCA also has introduced cricket in about 29 Schools in Missouri, and with the help of USYCA. The MYCA provides a free cricket set to each school, which they can use
Ten boys booked for campus vandalism BY A STAFF WRITER
Youngsters have a ball at MYCA pitches to continue playing the sport in their gym. Softball Cricket Tournament on July 4 and 5. The MYCA has also worked with St. The MYCA is now also working on Charles and St. Louis County parks and a Women’s Cricket Development plan in recreation department to make cricket as part Missouri to get the women cricketers engaged. of their youth sport program. Cricket is culture and religion among the Not only this, it is just the beginning to playing nation. It keeps them united. It keeps promote cricket in MO. The MYCA also them connected. In America, it is doing the launched the MYCA Men’s 20/20 Softball same and will do the same. MYCA has taken Cricket League in 2013, which is now a the cricket to the grassroot level. The journey member of American Cricket Federation and has just started but the possibilities are limitless. has 12 teams playing with ICC Rules. It’s time to give children a chance to The league hosted the inaugural Regional experience the gentleman’s game.
Cops alert citizens as thieves target mailboxes BY A STAFF WRITER
HESTERFIELD (MI) – The police have warned homeowners in west St. Louis County about thieves attempting to go into mailboxes during the day and stealing the mail. Authorities said the suspects were after personal financial information, like checks and bank statements, or anything with a name and account number on it. One homeowner said he and his wife knew something was wrong when they noticed one of their bank statements was missing, and they both come at the same
and everything that goes along with what happened that day,” Scaggs said. Dharmapala took 11 minutes to read aloud a three-page victim impact statement detailing for the judge the physical and emotional toll the attack has taken on him and his wife. He said he has had three surgeries, will need continued therapy for at least another five years, and no longer feels safe living in Champaign. “While any violent attack is traumatic, being targeted for killing because of the color of one’s skin in exceptionally horrific. This is an immutable characteristic and an attack of this nature gives rise to constant anxiety about the possibility of future attacks,” Dharmapala said. Because Scaggs does not have the means to pay, Ziegler did not seek restitution for Dharmapala’s out-of-pocket expenses, which Dharmapala put at more than $19,000. Dharmapala, an authority on tax policy, public economics, law and economics, and political economics, joined the Illinois faculty in 2009 from the University of Connecticut. He earned his master’s degree in economics from the University of Western Australia and his Ph.D. in economics from the University of California-Berkeley
time. The home is along Isle View Drive in Chesterfield.
The police said other cases had been reported in nearby Ballwin and Town and Country. Residents along Isle View Drive said they had noticed mailboxes on the block were open, but wondered how they could protect their mail? Authorities advised neighbors to keep an eye out around their streets for anyone poling into mailboxes. Outgoing and incoming mail have both been targeted. Stealing mail is a federal offense that can land a suspect in prison for five years for every piece of mail taken.
ILES (IL) -- A stolen golf cart that was reportedly discovered at the home of a Niles boy led the Park Ridge police to arrest 10 youths in connection with the crime. The cart was reported stolen on May 22 from the Park Ridge Youth Campus, 733 N. Prospect Ave., by employees of the Park Ridge Park District who were working on the site. Park Ridge Police Cmdr. Jason Leavitt said the employees observed someone riding the golf cart off the property and heading north on Prospect Avenue. Leavitt said investigators learned that several incidents of vandalism had occurred on the Youth Campus property as well, including building windows broken by rocks or tools, with graffiti and other damage estimated at $12,800. The police located the stolen golf cart the following day at the Niles home of a 12-year-old boy who was charged with theft, criminal damage to property and criminal trespass. “The investigation into that led to the other nine [suspects],” Leavitt said. Another 12-year-old Niles boy was charged with burglary, criminal damage to property and criminal trespass, while the police also leveled charges of criminal damage to property and criminal trespass against two other 12-year-olds from Niles and three Park Ridge boys, ages 12, 13 and 14. Charged with criminal trespass were two 14-year-old Park Ridge boys and a 12-year-old from Niles. The charges were announced on July 7. All will appear before the Park Ridge Peer Jury soon.