published Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Marion County 16-year-old gets probation, ordered to perform public service in cyclist assault case

JASPER, Tenn. — The eldest of two Marion County, Tenn., juveniles charged in an encounter with a cyclist in January was in Juvenile Court today where he was given probation and ordered to perform 16 hours of public service on charges of assault and violation of the three-foot law.

The case heard by Marion County Juvenile Judge Jay Blevins has drawn fire from the cycling community locally and nationally.

The teens — ages 14 and 16 — were charged in connection with the Jan. 11 assault of cyclist Anders Swanson on Raccoon Mountain in Marion County near the Hamilton County line. The assault charge stems from the teen's spraying Swanson in the face with pepper spray during the encounter and the elder teen also was charged with violating the three-foot law and having a vehicle with a horn that did not work properly.

The 14-year-old, whose case has not yet been heard in court, was charged with possession of a horn that made an unreasonably loud or harsh sound in connection with the teen pair sounding an air horn as they passed by cyclist Swanson in their truck.

12th Judicial District Attorney General Mike Taylor said the 16-year-old was ordered to serve 90-days probation, submit to a drug test, perform 16 hours of community service and pay court costs. The Marion County Juvenile Probation Office will oversee the teen's probation, Taylor said.

The court orders were handed down under an “informal adjustment” or “informal adjudication” which means that if he meets requirements of court orders, his record could be cleared when the case is reviewed on June 12, Taylor said.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at or 423-757-6569.

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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