The Virginian-Pilot

Two years ago, four teenagers who beat up a boy in South Norfolk turned on former NFL player Ed Beard, who had been riding his bike nearby.

As part of a gang initiation, the teens, ages 15 to 17, kicked and punched the 71-year-old former linebacker, knocking him unconscious and leaving him with a gash on his head.

The case outraged Hampton Roads, as it should have.

Those teens, charged with malicious wounding by mob, were appropriately sent to prison. Three of them were ordered to complete a “youthful offender” program that typically lasts four years and involves counseling, schooling and job training – a program that works to turn around teens in prison and prepare them for eventual release.

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