Austintown student found with box-cutter in school tells his sto - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Austintown student found with box-cutter in school tells his story

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AUSTINTOWN, Ohio -

A painful lesson for a student charged with carrying a concealed weapon at Austintown Fitch High School after a box-cutter fell out of his bookbag.

21 News spoke with the junior in high school before he went before a judge.

It's a story we wanted to do, giving 18-year-old Tyler Sims a chance to tell his side of the story.

Sims is now facing a criminal charge after a box-cutter fell out of his book bag as school let out back on February 23rd.

The young man appeared in court with his mother Carolyn Crum and approached the bench when his name was called in Judge David D'Apolito's courtroom in Austintown Monday afternoon.

Sims got an education in how the justice system works.  

The 11th grader is now facing a misdemeanor for having the box-cutter on a day when the school was all ready for a "soft lock-down."

Sims pled not guilty and says he tried to explain to the school staff and school resource officer that he didn't realize the tool he uses for his part-time job at McDonald's was even in the book bag, but he claims no one wanted to hear it.

"I told them that I worked there and I use the box-cutter to break down boxes and stuff," Sims said.

Sims says he has a good reputation, has never threatened anyone, and had a boot put on his right foot the day before to help heal two torn ligaments, so how could he harm anyone?

"I'm not that type of person.  I love everybody, for real, and I feel really bad about the situation and how it happened like that," Sims said.

Sims said there was so much chaos that day with an officer getting hit in the parking lot of the school, the building being on soft lockdown, and other school threats in the area.  So he understands and respects why there has to be zero tolerance.  

But he says he's telling the truth and just wants someone to listen, and he hopes this serves as a lesson to other students to make sure you know what you're carrying into a school.

"I plan on going to the Army, and I guess if I'll have this on my record I can't go no more.  I wanted that to be a big part of my life.  So I hope that's all dropped because I had no intention on hurting anybody.  And I just want to apologize to the school for not checking my book bag more thoroughly and this never would have happened had I checked it thoroughly," Sims told 21 News.

Sims will receive a court-appointed attorney.

If he is convicted in the case he could receive up to 180 days in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.

The Austintown Fitch junior has already been suspended from high school for 10 days and could face expulsion for bringing what's considered a deadly weapon to school.

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