Oswego DPW commissioner punched 13-year-old at city holiday event, police say

Oswego, N.Y. – The Oswego city department of public works commissioner has been charged this week with punching a 13-year-old boy at a city-sponsored Halloween event, police said.

Thomas Kells, 51, was fired by the city Thursday following the police investigation into the incident, Oswego Mayor William Barlow announced Friday in a news release.

On Oct. 30, a group of juveniles were disrupting the city’s Creepy Crawl Halloween event, Oswego police said.

While being escorted out of the event, a 13-year-old boy was hit and suffered a bloody nose, police said.

The investigation determined that the teen was hit in the face by Kells while the boy was walking out of the event, they said.

Multiple witnesses and surveillance footage confirmed that Kells hit the child, police said.

The family of the teen wanted to press charges the night of the incident, Barlow said. It took just under two months for police to gather the evidence needed to arrest Kells, he said.

No other individuals have been charged in connection with the incident, Barlow said.

Kells was charged with third-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child, police said. Both charges are misdemeanors. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in court on Jan. 6.

In a statement, Barlow thanked Kells for his contributions to the city during his time as DPW Commissioner. However, he clarified that this incident was unacceptable and announced Kells’ termination.

“We put these events on to give children fun, exciting activities to enjoy,” the mayor said in a statement released Friday. “I am saddened this occurred during a city event by a city employee. As a result of the police investigation, yesterday I terminated Tom Kells’ employment with the city.”

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