2009-09-24 / Local & State

Pa. Man Gets 2 To 5 Years In Classroom Attack

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) - A man who burst into an eastern Pennsylvania middle school and attacked a 14-year-old youth has been sentenced to two to five years in prison.

Police said 37-year-old Willie Rivera entered the second-floor classroom at Raub Middle School in Allentown in January, choked the student and snatched a chain from the eighth-grader's neck. They said the attack came a day after Rivera's stepson was attacked and robbed by a group of teenagers.

Rivera pleaded guilty in August to felony criminal trespass, misdemeanor theft and reckless endangerment.

Friends and family members wept as Rivera was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs Friday. They called him a great father who made a poor decision after seeing his stepson come home beaten. Rivera apologized to the boy's mother Friday, saying he had just intended to talk to the youth but his emotions got the better of him.

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