Though his attorney portrayed the crime as a combination of alcohol, kids not thinking, and a weapon, Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Linda Jennings said the fight that transpired at the University of Toledo last fall was a serious offense.
She placed Sheldon Wendel, 21, of 1739 Wyndhurst Rd. on community control for five years and ordered him to serve four months in the Lucas County work release program followed by six months on electronic monitoring.
Wendel, who had entered an Alford plea to aggravated riot, a fourth-degree felony, also was ordered to consume no alcohol or drugs, submit to drug testing, and either attend school or work full-time.
Wendel was the last of four young men to be sentenced for their roles in an Aug. 23 confrontation at the UT campus in which Wendel’s friend, Cody Halka, 17, attacked Joseph Bialecki, 19, who then stabbed young Halka. Wendel, along with Emilio Cloyne, 19, and Domenic Hudson, 19, then chased after and beat Bialecki until he was unconscious.
Wendel told the court before sentencing that he was sorry but was “trying to defend a friend of mine who was just stabbed and couldn’t defend himself.”
“The victim was seriously injured at your hands,” Judge Jennings told him. “He and your friend were involved in an altercation and that didn’t involve you, and after it was over you didn’t leave. You made the choice to run after the victim, trip him, and begin beating him as he fell to the ground.”
Wendel’s attorney, Sheldon Wittenberg, told the court he had the permission of the prosecutor assigned to the case to say that Wendel was “less culpable” than the others involved in the assault, and he will carry the stain of a felony conviction on his record for life. As part of a plea agreement, Judge Jennings dismissed a felonious assault charge.
Bialecki and Mr. Cloyne were sentenced to community control, electronic monitoring, and community service, while Hudson was ordered to spend six months at the Correctional Treatment Facility followed by six months in work release.