The Uncola: Student Prosecuted for Defecating in Soda of Classmate

In Camden, New Jersey, a 17-year-old high school student has pleaded guilty to defecating in a classmate’s soda during an auto-shop class.

What is interesting is that the prosecutors originally pursued an aggravated assault charge — a novel claim for such a case. It appears designed to force a plea, which it did. The teenager has agreed to plead guilty to tampering with a food product. He has been ordered to serve probation, serve 200 hours of community service, write a letter to the victim to apologize and to write a 1,000-word report on why it’s unhealthy to ingest fecal matter. It appears that writing “I will not poop in my friend’s drinks” 1000 times was dropped as a demand.

I find the aggravated charge interesting. New Jersey has various aggravated assault provisions but it is likely that aggravated assault with a serious bodily injury and a weapon are not applicable. However, use of a firearm is prominent in the provisions, here. Here is aggravated assault with significant (as opposed to serious) bodily injury:

A person is guilty of aggravated assault if he. . . . (a) ttempts to cause significant bodily injury to another or causes significant bodily injury purposely or knowingly or, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life recklessly causes such significant bodily injury.

It would have become an expert battle over whether this prank presented a risk of significant bodily injury. I expect it would. That would allow its use in a variety of food tampering cases.

In torts, such cases can be easily classified as a form of battery.

For the story, click here.

8 thoughts on “The Uncola: Student Prosecuted for Defecating in Soda of Classmate”

  1. I think a funnel may be what you were looking for eniobob, although things would have to be quite “loose” for a successful deposit into a bottle.

    I’m surprised they let him off the 1000 lines though.

  2. I must ask the question,was the soda in a cup or was it still in the bottle?For if it was still in the bottle,oh never mind.

  3. “It would have become an expert battle over whether this prank presented a risk of significant bodily injury.”

    That might also be raised, but I think it far more likely that the defense would rely on the argument that, even if a risk existed, the defendant was unaware of that risk–he just thought it was something gross to do to someone.

    From the jury instruction:
    “A person acts purposely with respect to the result of his/her conduct if it is his/her conscious object to cause such a result. A person acts purposely if he/she acts with design, with a specific intent, with a particular object or purpose, or if he/she means to do what he/she does (e.g., “I did it on purpose”). . . . If you find that the State has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant(s) attempted to cause serious bodily injury to another, then you must find the defendant(s) not guilty.5″

    I’m not from New Jersey, but I read the jury instruction as meaning that in this case the defendant had to intend to cause serious bodily injury or that he intended simple assault, but serious bodily injury occurred. He can’t just have intended simple assault, with no serious bodily injury occurring, and be guilty.

    That’s what my defense would be, but if you’re admitting the simple assault (presumably a lesser included offense), you might as well take a plea that gets your guy probation.

  4. Since when do they allow sodas in a high school class? Buddha, you were probably right to bring up LL because she would have drank the soda to get to the worm at the bottom. At least that is what she would remember.

  5. Some people need more help than others’ NJ you say. Could it be the land fill has finally contaminated the water and has reached the brain cells of these students. Or at least whats left?

  6. Sorry about the LiLo joke, but for some reason this story brought her to mind. Possibly the coke reference. Possibly the crap reference. But a Lindsey joke is inherently low even by my humor standards. The poor gal’s life is such a train wreck that it’s easy pickings. It’s a bit like kicking a sick puppy. Just bad form.

  7. cut, Cut, CUT!!!!!

    How many times do I have to spell it out, Tommy? The slogan is “Have a Coke and a Smile”. Got it? Or do I have to get a real actor in here like Lindsey Lohan to finish this shoot?

    Ok. Cameras ready? In three, two, one, action!

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