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March 7, 2013

Probation officer: Accused teen's behavior better despite rap sheet


By Keith Gushard

Meadville Tribune

Despite being in trouble with Crawford County’s juvenile court system about a half-dozen times in the past 22 months and now facing a felony charge of aggravated assault and other counts, Timothy Bolden’s behavior has improved, according to Brian Swavey, a Crawford County Juvenile Probation Department officer.

The testimony came at the second day of a certification hearing in Crawford County Court on Wednesday before Judge John Spataro to determine whether Bolden, 16, is to be tried as a juvenile or an adult. Judge Spataro said at the start of a two-hour hearing on Tuesday that he intended to take as much time as necessary for the case and would continue it, if necessary, to open times on the court schedule.

The hearing is scheduled to continue this morning.

Bolden is one of two teenagers charged by Meadville Police with the 3 a.m. New Year’s Day beating a Meadville man outside the CVS pharmacy on North Street. The 34-year-old victim sustained multiple facial fractures that have required surgery.

Swavey, who has been Bolden’s juvenile probation officer since May 2011, testified Bolden successfully has passed different behavioral programs like anger management and others imposed on him for various offenses.

Craig Howe, assistant district attorney, asked Swavey how improvement could be shown and considered successful if Bolden keeps committing criminal offenses.

“He understands it,” Swavey said of the programs. “He understands the concepts. He’s well-spoken and knows the stuff. It’s difficult for him putting it from his head to his heart.”

“He was given the knowledge but failed to implement it?” Howe then asked.

“I think that’s why I’m here,” Swavey responded.

Swavey testified that Bolden was placed on probation May 19, 2011, to June 24, 2011, for a burglary as a juvenile but later had gone into short-term placement at Hermitage House, a juvenile housing facility, twice from May 16 to 19 and May 27 to June 1, both in 2011, for failing to comply with house arrest rules.

Bolden was under house arrest July 27, 2011, to Aug. 24, 2011, for violating curfew and was placed back in Hermitage House Aug. 5 to 8, 2011, for violating house arrest rules, Swavey said. Bolden went back into Hermitage House Aug. 25 to 29, 2011, after violating house house arrest rules by walking away from a job he had at the Crawford County Fairgrounds, Swavey testified.

Swavey testified Bolden was given probation by Crawford County Juvenile Court Sept. 28, 2011, for a criminal trespass felony. Bolden was placed under house arrest from Nov. 29, 2011, through Jan. 9, 2012, for school truancy, Swavey said.

Bolden received probation for a simple assault case in Oct. 12, 2012, but was placed under house arrest Jan. 9, 2013, for truancy issues, Swavey testified.

Swavey said Bolden also underwent anger management programs at school twice — from Jan. 31, 2012, through May 17, 2012, a program that met twice per week after school; and from Nov. 8, 2012, through Jan. 4, 2013, that met five times per week during school.

Questioned why Bolden went through the anger management program twice, Swavey said it was two-fold.

“It was to make sure he understood and demonstrated the concepts (of the program) and the Oct. 12 simple assault,” Swavey said.

Bolden is charged by Meadville Police with aggravated assault, criminal conspiracy, two counts of simple assault, recklessly endangering and two counts of harassment for his alleged role in the early New Year’s Day attack. The alleged assault was filmed by a video from a security camera outside the CVS store.

At the start of the hearing on Tuesday, Wes Rowden, Bolden’s defense attorney, has stipulated to the court that Bolden is in the security camera video and there is enough evidence to establish the charges against Bolden, but that Bolden is not admitting guilt.

The second teen in the case, Tyler Adams, 15, was declared delinquent of aggravated assault, simple assault and harassment by Judge Spataro following a juvenile court hearing last week. Adams faces potential penalties of fines, court costs, and house arrest or placement in a juvenile detention facility when he is sentenced by Judge Spataro sometime within the next 30 days.

Wednesday’s hearing was recessed after 45 minutes due to other cases scheduled before Spataro.

Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at

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