ELYRIA — One local family took a unique spin on punishment — in the form of public embarrassment.
Unlucky 12-year-old Trezahn Blaha of Elyria said he did not think he would get caught stealing a telephone, bracelet and a mouthpiece from the mall. He also probably did not realize that he would have to broadcast his discretions to Elyria residents.
Blaha sat on the corner of Broad and East Streets Wednesday afternoon holding a sign that read, “I like to steal and have no respect for my mother or authority!”
One passerby commented on the sign.
“I wish somebody would have done that to me,” he said after snapping a picture of Blaha.
The idea came from his uncle, Ricardo Pamplin, who said he believes the form of punishment will keep Blaha from acting out again.
“Since the law claims that we cannot, what they call, discipline them on three strikes, I figure why not embarrass them?” he said.
“I think if more parents stood in line and disciplined their children with either embarrassment or either a good old fashioned a — whooping, this community would be a better, and safer place and the jails wouldn’t be so packed.”
This is not the first time Blaha has had a run-in with authorities. Blaha was suspended from Northwood School three days ago and has been arrested several times, Pamplin said.
Pamplin has had similar problems in the past. “Raised in the streets,” he ran away from home at the age of 11. He has also spent time in prison.
Pamplin said he hopes that Blaha will not follow a similar path, even though he does not compare their situations.
“If I can stop one kid out of a thousand kids, even if it’s my nephew, I did my job,” he said.
Blaha kept his head down for most of his time sitting on the corner, but allowed people walking by to take pictures and even spoke with some. He admitted he “made a wrong choice.”
Blaha added that seeing his mom does not like his stealing has made him want to stop and he worries that one day he may go to prison if he continues.
Blaha’s mother, Deondra, is skeptical that the punishment will work, however.
“He’s a klepto,” she said.
“I hope he’s learning from it.”