Teenager who spent nearly 40 days in custody for throwing snowball sues school district

Dominique Rondeau was accused of throwing the snowball in 2013

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A teenager is suing the Detroit school district for false arrest and malicious prosecution after spending nearly 40 days in custody for throwing a dangerous snowball.

In December 2013, Dominique Rondeau, 16 at the time, was accused of throwing an icy snowball at a school police car, shattering the windshield.

Rondeau, who denied throwing the snowball, spent nearly 40 days in juvenile detention, including the Christmas period. His family could not afford the bond, set at $2,000, and Rondeau was only released when it was reduced.

The Detroit Free Press reported that Rondeau, now 18, has filed a lawsuit alleging false arrest and malicious prosecution.

A judge dismissed the case against Rondeau after officers could not identify him as the person who threw the snowball in a video in court.

There are other cases in which school districts in the US have been sued.

Last year, a Connecticut high school student launched a federal court case against the Waterbury school district after the institution allegedly used a sealed juvenile arrest report to suspend him from school.

The 17-year-old honour student at Crosby High School was arrested for a "non-violent victimless offense" that was unrelated to the school, the Associated Press reported citing his lawyer Jon Williams.

While a court is allowed to disclose a student’s arrest to school officials, it is not allowed to release the details in its documents, Williams said.

The school’s attorney argued the school’s actions were "reasonable".