Zero tolerance run amok: throwing snowballs is now a felony 

Two James Madison University students are facing felony charges for throwing snowballs at a Harrisonburg city snow plow and an unmarked police car called to investigate during last Saturday’s blizzard.

Charles Gill and Ryan Knight, a guard on the university’s basketball team, were arrested and taken into custody. The two 21-year-olds are accused of “throwing missiles at occupied vehicles,” a felony that could send them both to prison for up to five years.

Unless they were jack-hammering up 100-pound chucks of ice and hurling them off an overpass in a clearly malicious attempt to kill or injure the snowplow driver, this appears to be a case of high-spirited college kids out playing in the snow. It’s also a ridiculous example of excessive charges by the police officers involved.

But in our completely crazy “zero tolerance” culture, where a butter knife wielded by a first grader on a birthday cake considered a “weapon,” is it any wonder that snowballs are now considered missiles?

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