Rochester (N.Y.) City Court judge orders the arrest of autistic teen's alleged attacker

Chase Coleman, 15, in his cross-country uniform. (Photo: Photo provided by Clarise Coleman)

Chase Coleman, 15, in his cross-country uniform. (Photo: Photo provided by Clarise Coleman)

A Rochester City Court judge signed a warrant Wednesday for the arrest of a Pittsford man accused of pushing an autistic teenager to the ground in Cobbs Hill Park over two weeks ago.

Rochester Police Capt. Lloyd Cuyler said the warrant was signed by Judge Caroline Morrison, who had initially denied the warrant, citing a lack of paperwork.

RELATED: In-event attack of autistic cross country runner brings cries of racism

“It is an active arrest warrant and we have officers looking for him right now,” Cuyler said.

Martin  MacDonald, 57, of East Jefferson Road, is charged with second-degree harassment, a violation punishable by a maximum of 15 days in jail. The warrant calls for a $500 cash bail.

A police report of the incident stated that MacDonald acknowledged to police shoving Chase Coleman, 15, of Syracuse, to the ground and shouting at him, “Get out of here,” during an altercation in the park on Oct. 14.

Coleman had been in the park running a cross-country race for Corcoran High School, but had fallen far behind the field when he encountered MacDonald. The teenager is mostly non-communicative but suffers from echolalia, which causes him to repeat phrases.

His mother, Clarise Coleman, suspects her son was lost on the course and had turned to MacDonald for guidance. The confrontation was observed by two witnesses.

After the incident and denial of the warrant received widespread media attention, the Rochester Police Department refiled its request for a warrant on Tuesday.

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