Teenager Is Sentenced to 6 Months in Jail for Turkey Throwing


Tube Smuggler
Sep 13, 2004
Teenager Is Sentenced to 6 Months in Jail for Turkey Throwing

RIVERHEAD, N.Y., Oct. 17 - Thanks to the compassion of his victim, Ryan Cushing, 19, was sentenced today to six months in jail for tossing a 20-pound turkey out of a moving car and injuring a 42-year-old woman in another car.

Judge Barbara Kahn of Suffolk County Court imposed the sentence on Mr. Ryan, who pleaded guilty to second-degree assault, and she added to it five years of probation after he leaves jail and one year of community service, including a requirement that he deliver a speech once a month to other teenagers.

Mr. Ryan had been indicted on a charge of first-degree assault and other serious offenses, and could have faced up to 25 years in prison if convicted. Instead, the Suffolk County district attorney, Thomas Spota, said he had agreed to a plea agreement at Ms. Ruvolo's insistence.

Mr. Spota said Ms. Ruvolo, who had asked his office many questions about the youth and his background, had also insisted on a lenient sentence.

This, even though Ms. Ruvolo had almost died from the injuries she received when the turkey Mr. Ryan threw out the window hit her windshield last November. Every bone in her face was shattered and the steering wheel of her car was bent from the force of the flying turkey.

Surgeons had to rebuild her face using metal plates and screws, and doctors initially said that she might suffer lasting brain damage. Ms. Ruvolo is now back at work and living on her own.

At the sentencing hearing today, Ms. Ruvolo and Mr. Ryan embraced when he walked into the courtroom. He could be heard saying to her, "I'm sorry" and "Thank you."

He also added Ms. Ruvolo a four-page letter that talked about how sorry he was for what he had done, his lawyer, William Keahon, said.

In August, the chief of the district attorney's major crimes bureau, Peter Mayer, said that he had not seen such a forgiving victim in 30 years as a prosecutor.

But today, Ms. Ruvolo tried to dispel any notion that she was excusing Mr. Ryan, even though she had sought leniency in his punishment, asserting that she wanted no one to think "that I forgave you, which I have not."

She said she still expected Mr. Ryan, a student at the State University of New York at Farmingdale, to be held responsible for the consequences of his actions according to both "criminal and civil " law.

"I know you are remorseful," she said. But she also went on to criticize Mr. Ryan and the other young people who were in the car with him that day for not stopping to help her even when they saw that the collision with the bird carcass had caused her car to veer off the road.

"I wouldn't leave an animal at the side of a road, let alone my fellow man," she said.

Ms. Ruvolo is said to be considering filing a civil lawsuit. Lawyers have said that if she did, it would not help her case if she were on record as having unequivocally forgiven Mr. Ryan.


Grammar Civil Patrol
Jul 2, 2004
Sandy Eggo, CA
1. Why does the article consistently refer to the perp as "Mr Ryan" when his name is Ryan Cushing?

2. What a moron (perp, not victim)