Story Archive

Sad, Dark Thing

Cafe 41:11, a “Christian outreach center for at-risk teens” in Norton, Ohio, was founded near the town’s high school by a local attorney, Thomas Walkley, 52. When two 19-year-old men stopped by, Walkley “kept talking about how he works with at-risk kids,” said Xavier Sworniowski, “but that’s not why we were there.” Walkley talked about “sad, dark things,” the university student said, and “kept bringing up the kids he works with, and how they need someone to love them.” Then, he says, Walkley “stood up and pulled his pants down,” exposing himself. Sworniowski and his friend left and called police. Walkley followed them out, and spoke to the 911 dispatcher himself. According to the recording of the call, Walkley offered that “these guys are over the age of 18,” and invited officers to “come over” to the cafe. They did: Walkley was arrested and charged with two counts of public indecency. After bailing out, Walkley admitted to a reporter he had dropped his pants for “educational” reasons, and has done it before. “I would ask that no one rush to judgment before hearing the other side.” (RC/Akron Beacon-Journal) ...Sir, none of us want to see your other side.
Story Update: After a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation, the judge in the case ruled Walkley incompetent to stand trial, and ordered he receive psychiatric treatment. He was also ordered to stay away from children, and to stop practicing law pending review of his law license.
Original Publication Date: 13 February 2011
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 17.
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