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Maybe that wasn’t such a bright idea

If you are 21 years old and you pose as 14 years old to get on a youth football team, you must be crazy, right? A Tampa area court thinks so anyway. The story in the St Petersburg Times, Hillsborough judge sends fake 14-year-old to mental health center, begins as follows.

A Hillsborough judge Wednesday ordered a 21-year-old Tampa man to get counseling in a mental health facility after the man pretended to be 14 to play on a youth football team.

I have every reason to believe the individual in question is a “slow learner”, and I figure that could have something to do with the masquerade.

Julious Threatts was also sentenced to community control, meaning he will wear an ankle monitor and be under regular supervision as he undergoes treatment.

Apparently the courts don’t want any 21 year old male trying to pick up 14 year old girls. That’s another felony. Or, could he have been there to sell drugs?

I think this guy is strictly amateur hour, that is, a “slow learner”, as the coach and school workers seemed to have had no problem whatsoever discerning his paper work to be phoney.

He was charged with trespassing on school grounds, obstruction by a disguised person, and violation of probation, which he was serving for earlier burglary charges.

Perhaps he was reaching for a fresh start, and trying to turn his life around. The judge however didn’t see it quite that way.

In a brief sentencing hearing, Circuit Judge Daniel L. Perry granted the request of public defenders that Threatts be placed in a boarding home or assisted living facility to receive treatment. Threatts will go to Northside Mental Health Center in Tampa before he is transferred to another facility.

He was sentenced to…”treatment”? If Mr. Threatts does not respond to “treatment”, he was told to expect an even harsher punishment. Let us hope that this “treatment” “cures” Mr. Threatts of his behavioral indiscretions.

Sir, if this happens again you’re going to prison,” Perry said.

I have always felt that there was a closer relationship between “treatment” and punishment than some of these mental health workers would like to let on, but I will leave that discussion to another time for the moment.

On a more serious note, I worry about the “treatment” in cases of this sort causing more harm to the “patient” than any punishment might have done to the “offender” had such a court case been decided differently. There is always a not so remote danger of damage being done the “patient” through the use of certain powerful psychoactive drugs when these matters are dealt with in a psychiatric institution.

4 Responses

  1. It’s an interesting case although of course the report is very light on detail. One commenter suggested a fake judge and a fake hospital. That’s probably what Threatts will get. Other commenters leapt to the assumption that the guy is a pedophile and should either be shot or endure a relationship with Bubba.

    I wonder if the Raving Reporter could do a little investigation and with Threatts permission write a feature piece.

    • Well, this is a black kid who probably came from the wrong side of the tracks. I have to feel a little bit of sympathy for the kid. The kind of “help” he will be receiving from the mental health system I doubt will be doing him or anybody else a lot of good. You have to wonder why he’s being sentenced to mental health treatment. I think his “sickness” has to be something of a stretch, and I have to wonder why. Does he maybe have a past history of “treatment”?

      He’s not in a good situation. It’s like the state expects him to reoffend, otherwise he wouldn’t be forced to wear an ankle bracelet. I don’t have a good feeling about this thing. I see a kid being put on a track that doesn’t lead to positive outcome, and probably in fact leads to a negative one. The system–I’ve been there before–is undoubtably going to blame him. This is not providing any sort of effective guidance.

      One commentor points out that he wasn’t under investigation for anything sexual. (“Investigators ruled out sex crime.”) Good for him. Now I’m not interrogating him as to what he’s doing trying to pose as 14 year old ball player. I wouldn’t put a sexual intent past him, it’s just he didn’t even make the team. He didn’t come onto any young ladies, had that been his intent or not. He didn’t have the time. He was found out. If there’s to be a word to describe his predicament that word is busted.

      I could delve deeper into the matter. There are a number of news stories in print now on this young man’s sentencing. You know the press aren’t exactly asking him if they can write about him. They don’t have to do so. He turned 18 2 or 3 years ago. Since that time he has managed to bungle his way into the news. I think he must be one of an even larger number of young men whose futures look dim. I’m don’t think this sentencing makes that future look any brighter. There must be a better way.


      Another earlier article, Julious Threatts Jailed After Allegedly Lying About Age to Play Football, tells us a little more about what lead up to this sentencing.

      “He duped everyone,” Steve Levinson, president of the Tampa Bay Youth Football League said in an interview with the Miami Herald. Levinson noted that the individual he knew as Chad Jordan correctly turned in all necessary paperwork, with a birth certificate — that was later determined to be fabricated. Threatts allegedly used the alias, Chad Jordan, to pose as a 14-year-old boy.

      Apparently he’d gotten a little further than was suggested.

      Threatts, 5-foot-11 and 160 pounds, played for the West Coast Youth Football Conference last year and trained again this spring where he joined the Tampa Bay league. He played with a youth team for their first game of the season on Aug. 21 and kept his helmet on at all times, even when the game was over.

      When it comes to lying this kid was no pro.

      The coach of the team, Ray McCloud, noted that Threatts told him his parents died in a car accident and he was being raised by an older brother. When the coach figured out something was odd and pieces were not adding up, he did some of his own investigating.

      When you’re out to play the confidence game, don’t play it straight when you do your social networking. It’s important to stay in character.

      With the help of a friend in Threatts’ neighborhood, coach McCloud found Threatts’ Facebook page that showed he graduated from Leto High School and had a mother listed. The friend also told coach McCloud that his father did in fact die in a car accident.

      Your trail of deceptions might lead home.

      Threatts was finally exposed when he went to register for a Tampa middle school, but did not show up with any parents or the necessary paperwork. When he told school officials he was homeless, they brought in social workers who helped piece the puzzle together. Finally, when Threatts went to the schools social workers’ office with a school deputy, his cell phone rang and an official answered it. His mother was on the other end of the line and authorities finally pieced his identity together.

      He wanted to be in the game according to the coach.

      Coach McCloud, still, thinks that Threatts went through all of this just to play some football.

      I guess the Judge just figured anyone who lies that much, and with no profit motive involved, must be completely nuts.

      Actually his lawyer, a public defender, was the one who asked for the ankle bracelet, and the mental health treatment. Maybe she was a little confused about who she was defending. I don’t know. With a defence like her’s, who needs a prosecution.

  2. The guy did a lot of lying and probably broke a bunch of laws in the process. Like he committed fraud and that might then leave him opens to hundreds of charges of criminal trespass. But he was really only committing a single crime and not a particularly heinous one at that. Had he gotten away with it for a couple of years he may well have gotten a good job playing pro football. If a few years later it all came out it might have just been laughed off and no real harm would be seen by anyone to have been done.

    But of course people who have been duped are embarrassed and keen to express their outrage. They are also not above a little embellishment and possibly a little concoction to cover their asses.

    And then of course there’s the “mental illness” angle and his own lawyer… sheesh.

    I thought the guy might have been in your region and that it was sufficiently interesting and demonstrative of much of what motivates you to write your blog. I figured if it was doable you could attempt to investigate it personally.

    • 2 words, intolerance and inflexibility. The kid just wanted to play ball for chrissake! He’s being punished/”treated” for that! This is a different world from the one that existed not so long ago. I see his “field of dreams” dissolving into a backlot. This reminds me of criminal prosecutions for hunting accidents, a matter that has become more frequent of late than it once was. Also, incidents where a person is charged with murder, not for actually pulling the trigger, but for being with a killer, or not stopping one. Cruel and unusual punishments, in a word, are becoming more acceptable than they once were, &, speaking of cruel and unusual punishments, you’ve got, at least in the USA, a prison overcrowding problem due to 3 strike laws. Where is this young man headed? It’s probably not the football stadium. Where is anybody dealing with the young man’s desire to play ball? He’s just a jail diversion being shuffled from the criminal justice system to the mental health system, and perhaps back again.

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