A grandmother came face-to-face in a courtroom with the teenager who body-slammed her at a pool party after she asked his friends to lower their music.
Nancy James, 68, had approached the teens at a pool party near her house in North Lauderdale, Fl., in May. Shocking footage showed her being body-slammed by a then-16-year-old, dragged, and thrown into the pool.
Prior to the incident, James had undergone hip and heart procedures.
In July, James came face-to-face with the teenager, Leon Balfour Joseph, who was charged with battery.
“What he did was a very cruel thing. Very cruel. Very inhuman,” she told the court, before addressing him directly. “You have so much ahead of you. You're a young kid. You've got college. You got hopes. You got dreams, and you know what, unfortunately, this will follow you, forever.”
Presiding over the sentencing was Judge Elijah Williams, who agreed.
“For the rest of his life when they Google his name, that video is going to pop up, so essentially, he's a dead man walking,” the judge said.
His mother, Shekita Johnson, said: “I just want to apologize to you for what my son did. I didn't raise my child that way.
James told her: “You didn't do it.”
But the teenager also had words for James.
“I mean this from the bottom of my heart that I had no intention of inflicting any pain or harm on you,” the teen said as he read an apology.
Despite what happened to her, James saw the teenager as a promising young man who did a stupid thing. She was willing to accept a sentence of 200 hours of community service and a strict 8 p.m. curfew on school days, and 6 p.m. on weekends.
Her compassion spared him jail time but on the way out she gave him one last finger-wagging reprimand.
The teen was also ordered to pay the grandmother $200 to replace her cell phone that got soaked in the pool.