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Father gets probation for hitting son

by David Cole
| April 28, 2010 9:00 PM

COEUR d'ALENE - A 27-year-old Coeur d'Alene man on Tuesday received three years of supervised probation as a result of hitting his 6-year-old son in the face early this month, giving the boy a swollen eye and bloody nose.

Michael S. Cole pleaded guilty to battery, a misdemeanor, in magistrate court here. He was arrested after the first-grader's mother, Cole's girlfriend, took the boy to the hospital for his injuries, court records show.

Along with hitting the boy, Cole refused a urine test, both of which were violations of his existing probation.

Cole was in First Judicial District Court on Tuesday to be sentenced for violating probation.

"I meant to hit him on the forehead," Cole told the court. "I kind of caught him in the eye ... It was a mistake that I wish I could take back."

Cole is 6 feet 5 inches tall and weighs 220 pounds.

Cole has spent the past six years either incarcerated or on probation after being convicted of leaving the scene of an injury accident, a felony, Kootenai County Deputy Prosecutor Ann Wick told the court. He was sentenced for that crime in 2004.

Wick said Cole still owes more than $8,400 in restitution for the 2004 crime.

Wick told the court that Cole has an "abysmal" record while on probation.

"He hasn't learned to be a law abiding adult," Wick said. "Now he's hitting his own child."

Cole's defense attorney, Lynn Nelson, of Coeur d'Alene, said his client has stopped using marijuana and drinking alcohol. Explaining the battery of Cole's son, Nelson said Cole is doing what his father did to him.

For that battery, in magistrate court, Cole received 180 days in jail with 160 days suspended.

Kootenai County District Court Judge John Mitchell gave Cole three more years supervised probation, and a separate 180 days in jail.

He can be released early if he arranges for satisfactory anger management treatment.

Mitchell ordered that Cole have no contact with his girlfriend, son, or daughter until he completes a month of anger management treatment. Cole also will submit to weekly random drug testing, and enter a parenting program, Mitchell ordered.