There is an extremely disturbing videotape below of an elderly woman in Florida being abused and assaulted at a pool as teenagers cheered and jeered. At one point, Leon Balfour Jr., 16, picks up Nancy James, 68, and throws her to the ground. He then picks her up and tosses her into the pool. It is a level of unprovoked and spontaneous violence that is truly shocking. The question is how to deal with a teenager with his level of rage.
Here is the videotape:
Balfour was processed at the Broward County Juvenile Assessment Center before being transported to the Broward Regional Juvenile Facility. The question is whether he will be treated as an adult. James was merely walking her dogs when she was surrounded by the teenagers. She found herself in the middle of about 200 people at Players Place Apartment Complex in North Lauderdale, Florida, when she asked for them to just turn down the music at the pool. She serves on the board of the association. She was hospitalized for the night and her dogs were eventually tracked down by a neighbor.
Balfour’s father was convicted for a first degree murder in 2008. Leon Sean Balfour-Joseph.
Balfour did not turn himself in until his image was widely distributed with the video, which went viral. Do you think that this 16-year-old should be tried as an adult? Juveniles are generally released at age 18 and sent to juvenile centers. The concern is that sending them to a prison like his father will only harden him into a habitual offender. Yet, this attack reflects a level of rage and violence that makes him a credible threat to society.
What do you think?