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Saturday 26 November 2022
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Update: Rochester Man Accused of Shoving Syracuse Teen Pleads Guilty

By Staff

 

martin-macdonald

(Update, Nov. 17) – Fifty-seven-year-old Martin MacDonald, of Pittsford, pleaded guilty Thursday, to physically attacking Syracuse teen Chase Coleman on Oct. 14.

The incident made national headlines after Coleman’s family accused MacDonald of shoving the 15-year-old, who suffers from autism, while he had been participating in a cross country track meet at Cobbs Hill Park.

MacDonald previously pleaded not guilty to the charge of harassment in the second degree, which is a violation, and prosecutors have since charged him with endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor.

Rochester City Court Judge Ellen Yacknin said she would cap MacDonald’s sentence at three years probation, provided his claims that he has no additional criminal record, other than a recent DWI, were valid. 

He returns to court for sentencing on Jan. 17.

(From Nov. 10) – Rochester City Court Judge Ellen Yacknin has offered 57-year-old Martin MacDonald, of Pittsford, a plea deal that would allow MacDonald to complete community service for physically attacking Syracuse teen Chase Coleman on Oct. 14.

The incident made national headlines after Coleman’s family accused MacDonald of shoving the 15-year-old, who suffers from autism, while he had been participating in a cross country track meet at Cobbs Hill Park.

Judge Yacknin has offered MacDonald 120 hours of community service,  five of which he must complete with Autism Up, a local non-profit organization that works with individuals who have autism, should he choose to accept the plea bargain. 

He will also be required to participate in an anger management program.

According to MacDonald’s attorney, his client is considering the deal. 

Macdonald must decide whether he will accept the sentence by his next court date, which is Nov. 17; otherwise Yacknin said she will schedule a pre-trial hearing for the case. 

MacDonald previously pleaded not guilty to the charge of harassment in the second degree. 

(Update, Nov. 4) – Fifty-seven-year-old Martin MacDonald, of Pittsford, pleaded not guilty to a charge of harassment in the second degree Friday in Rochester City Court.

The charge has a possible penalty of up to 15 days in jail.

MacDonald turned himself into police on harassment charges Thursday, after admitting to physically attacking Syracuse teen Chase Coleman on Oct. 14.

Rochester City Court Jude Caroline Morrison has also recused herself from the case, after citing procedural issues, and the possible appearance of bias, since Morrison initially denied the family’s request for an arrest warrant last month.

Morrison has also issued an order of protection for Coleman, barring MacDonald from contacting the teen or his family.

MacDonald is slated to return to court on Nov. 9, where he will appear in front of Rochester City Court Judge Ellen Yacknin. 

(From Nov. 3) – Fifty-seven-year-old Martin MacDonald, of Pittsford, has turned himself into police on harassment charges, after MacDonald physically attacked Syracuse teen Chase Coleman on Oct. 14.

The incident made national headlines after Coleman’s family accused MacDonald of shoving the 15-year-old, who suffers from autism, while he had been participating in a cross country track meet at Cobbs Hill Park.

Chase’s mother, Clarise Coleman had attempted to press harassment charges against MacDonald, following the event; however, Rochester City Court Judge Caroline Morrison had initially denied the family’s request for an arrest warrant.

Rochester police continued to investigate the incident, and officials filed a warrant with the Monroe County Clerk’s Office Tuesday.

MacDonald will be arraigned in court on Friday morning.

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