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Man who shoved autistic teen sentenced to probation and community service

TWC News

The Pittsford man whose confrontation with an autistic high school athlete from Syracuse has been sentenced to probation.

After pleading guilty last year to second degree harassment, which is a violation, and a charge of endangering the welfare of a child, which is a misdemeanor, 57 year old Martin MacDonald was sentenced Tuesday to three years of probation and 80 hours of community service for reportedly shoving 15 year old Chase Coleman to the ground at Cobbs Hill Park last October.

Coleman was running in a race when he went off course in the area of the city park.

MacDonald was also ordered not to have contact with Coleman for five years.

According to Time Warner Cable News, police say MacDonald told officers he was afraid Coleman was going to mug his wife. He told police he thought Coleman was mocking him, but upon learning the teen was autistic and non verbal, MacDonald told police he was very sorry.

Coleman's mother Clarise said her son was traumatized, and then decided to not run anymore. He quit the high school team, but later accepted an invitation to run with Rochester police officers. 

According to the Democrat & Chronicle, prior to this week's sentencing, MacDonald read a statement apologizing to Coleman and his family and said he has been volunteering with an autism advocacy group.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.