Phoenixville Teen Sentenced for Robbing, Beating Berwyn Shop Owner

The judge imposed a much harsher sentence than the victim asked for.

Sean Christopher Mitten of Phoenixville will be spending the next 21-56 months in state prison for his role in the robbery and beating of Yong Yang outside Yang's market in Berwyn.

Mitten, 18, was convicted and sentenced as an adult in Chester County Common Plea Court Tuesday afternoon in West Chester.  The sentence was imposed by Judge Phyllis Streitel in a hearing that lasted nearly an hour in courtroom 14 on the sixth floor of the County Courthouse.

Mitten was 17 when he and Ocatvio Sandoval plotted, scoped out and finally jumped, beat and robbed Yang as he got into his delivery van after closing the produce market he owned and operated for 14 years in Berwyn. Sandoval, who was 18, faces sentencing for his role in the crime on October 9.

Mitten was sentenced to:

  • 28-56 months in state prison (14-28 on each count, to be served consecutively)
  • 9 years probation (5 years for robbery plus 4 years for conspiracy to be served consecutively)
  • Provide a DNA sample (to have on record in case he were to commit future crimes)
  • 200 hours of community service (100 hours for each count)
  • Study and earn a GED while in prison
  • Have no contact with Mr. Yang (except via a letter Mitten has requested and will be permitted to send Mr. Yang a letter of thanks and apology that will be sent through an attorney or prison counselor or probation officer)
  • Pay restitution (split with Octavio Sandoval) of $30,185.68 to Blue Cross and Blue Shield for Mr. Yang's medical expenses and $4,460.05 directly to Mr. Yang. 
  • Undergo psychiatric and mental health evaluation to detemine the best programs to help Mitten get his life turned around.

The judge denied a request to consider sending Mitten to a boot camp-style prison saying she did not think it would be an effective program for Mitten. She did however recommend that Mitten be sent to Pine Grove prison in Indiana Prison which house young inmates under 21.

Editor's note: When Sean Christopher Mitten was arrested he was 17 but was charged as an adult. Until his conviction and sentencing as an adult today Patch had opted not to name him in our reporting because there was a chance that he could eventually be adjudicated in juvenile court. Due to the verdict and sentencing as an adult and because he is now 18 Patch is including Mitten's name in our coverage.

. September 26, 2012 at 05:02 PM
Susan, clearly you are related to or are friends wit the drunken, bully "victim" and/or have a personal beef with this kid and his family. What is he more popular than your son/daughter? Grow up lady. The kid had every right to return with a weapon after his friend was attacked and his property (all be it illegal for him to possess) was stolen. Had the adult bully simply left or better yet not decided to attack a kid on crutches and attempt to use the crutch as a weapon himself, none of this would have happened. I'll bet $50 the kid gets no jail time for this....
. September 26, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Friendly Neighbor - It's clear as day that Susan has some personal issue with this kid and his family. Earlier she complained that he is "being held up as a "leader" at PAHS". This tells me she simply jealous that her kid is not respected the same way and she is bitter. I actually think the kid showed some real balls standing up to an adult bully trying to attack his injuried friend who was on crutches. I would have no problem if my son did the same thing. My motto is better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6. Again, the kid will do no jail time behind this and the jerk who started the whole thing may now think twice before going out on his golf cart liquored up trying to start fights with teenagers. Enough said.
Susan September 26, 2012 at 05:10 PM
His name was in the original articles. He was charged as an adult. http://phoenixville.patch.com/articles/juvenile-charged-as-adult-in-alleged-golf-club-assault
. September 26, 2012 at 05:15 PM
Your continued attacks on this kid aren't going to make your child anymore popular or sucessful. Stop hating already....you are making a fool of yourself.
Susan September 26, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Richard, when this decent kid is on a promo on Phantom TV, then yes he is being held up as a leader. Do I have problems with him...yes. The fact that he has egged my house shows a pattern of behavior (endorsed by his parents I might add). The fact, that you seem to want to ignore is that this kid left the scene and then came back with a weapon with the sole of intent of harming someone. And to say that I am jealous....you have no clue how wrong you are. There is no way that you can compare Chris Schellberg to either of my kids.
. September 26, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Susan, your comments show you have a clear bais against this kid. You are rooting for him to go to jail not for what happened but because you don'tl like him. He may or not be a jerk but in this case, I don't think he deserves jail time. This is nothing like the original story where a teen cold blooded ambushed, robbed, and beat a business owner. This is a case of an adult who tried to be a tough guy bully with a bunch of teenagers but picked on the wrong kid and ended up getting beat down as a result. Let's see how the jury decides (if it even goes to court as this case is pretty much a loser for the DA). Again, I'm guessing probation and community service. If the "victim" sues in civil court, the kid can counter sue as well. Both sides and YOU need to move on and consider it a lesson learned.
Joan Welliver September 26, 2012 at 10:29 PM
Susan, I think your very jealous about this young man and his family. Remember we all did things like this when we were young!
Susan September 26, 2012 at 11:22 PM
Joan, you beat a guy nearly to death with a golf club? I sure haven't. And no, I am definitely not jealous of that family. I would just like to see justice to be done. There's no excuse for the type of violent behavior shown by this young man.
Sharon September 27, 2012 at 12:07 AM
I just read the story for the first time; the kid should go to jail! That is ridiculous what he did. Who does that? Over beer? Come on.
. September 27, 2012 at 12:24 AM
Sharon you are right. What Adult starts a fight with and steals beer from teenagers? Furthermore what kind of adult would then press charges after getting his butt kicked by the teens he tried to bully and steal from?
Sharon September 27, 2012 at 01:05 AM
No, sorry, Richard - I was referring to Christopher. Granted, the 30 yr. old probably shouldn't have taken their "stash", but hitting someone in the head with a golf club is NEVER ok.
David Curran September 27, 2012 at 03:30 AM
Susan, neither you nor I have ever hit someone over the head with a golf club. Perhaps we have never feared for our safety either. People react to threatening situations differently. All can agree that the behavior of the adult "victim" was disgraceful.
Susan September 27, 2012 at 10:00 AM
David, regardless of the behavior of the adult, the kid made the CHOICE to return to the scene with a weapon. Period. He could have never gone back and there would be no issue. However, by choosing to return with a weapon, he apparently meant to do harm to someone. And he did. Why does no one but Sharon understand that this was a conscious decision made by Chris? Unfortunately it was an extremely poor decision, and now he has to pay the consequences.
. September 27, 2012 at 11:06 AM
Susan, again your hate for this kid is clear. He didn't try to "beat anyone to death". He gave the bully a single hit with the club to protect him and his friends from a drunken adult bully. Clearly you aren't interested in facts so commenting on this further is pointless. Maybe if you spend more time with your OWN kids and less trying to slander another teen who happens to be more popular than your yours you will find some happiness in this world. Good day and good luck.
. September 27, 2012 at 11:09 AM
Sharon, he didn't just "take their stash". He also attacked them, including a 16 year old on crutches. He also never called the police instead deciding to fight the kids himself. I would advise my son to do the same if he was ever attacked by a drunken adult bully. Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.
Susan September 27, 2012 at 11:33 AM
Richard, maybe YOU need to look at the facts. Stupidity isn't a crime. Assault is.
Lisa September 27, 2012 at 12:26 PM
Richard I am not sure where you are getting your facts on the case but bottom line it sounds like you are condoning violence in phoenixville. If and eye for an eye is your strategy then our town is in trouble.
SCANDAL September 28, 2012 at 01:10 AM
I am shocked that anyone would find it ok for someone took a golf club to a human being unless it was a life and death situation. Which by reading the story was not. These boys could have walked away from the situation. Was it right for a grown man to be drunk and harrass them no not at all. But if the young boys werent sitting in a public park drinking this would have never happened. There was a group of young men to one drunk guy . There was no need for anone one of them boys to leave and get a something to bash him in the head.
. September 28, 2012 at 01:39 AM
First off this happened in Kimberton, not Phoenixville. Secondly, the only thing I am "condoning" is that grown men shouldn't take it upon themselves to harrass and assault teenagers over drinking in a park and then press charges when they get beat down over it. They also shouldn't drive around in golf carts on public property while drunk. I'm not saying it was a "good" thing that the kid smacked a bully in the head with a golf club. I'm simply saying that the so called "victim" caused the entire situation and basically brought it on himself. If he and his girlfriend were simply taking a late night walk in the park and were jumped by these kids, I would say throw the book at them. This guy went looking for trouble and found it. Like I said, I'll take bets that this kid gets no jail time in this case because most reasonable people see this for what it is. A kid who made a mistake in anger after being harrassed, attacked, and robbed by an adult bully.
. September 28, 2012 at 01:47 AM
The "victim" also could have left anytime. In fact, if he simply called the police to report underage drinking in the park, none of this would have happened. He started the fight and the kid finished it. The "victim" also wasn't alone. He was with his girlfriend, trying to show her how "tough" he was bullying a bunch of teens. He never called the police until AFTER he got smacked in the head.
SCANDAL September 28, 2012 at 02:08 AM
There would have been no scenario if the teenagers were not in a public park drinking.
Sharon September 28, 2012 at 02:17 AM
Richard, you seem really angry about this for some reason. Why are you defending a kid who was clearly out of line, both by drinking underage and then assaulting someone with a golf club? If my kid did that, trust me, I would not be nearly as understanding as you. You must be the so-called "cool dad" on the block.
SCANDAL September 28, 2012 at 02:26 AM
Sharon I am with you as a parent of a teenage boy . There would be no tolerance for such behavior. I would have drug my son to the police station. I have raised my children with understanding I will tolerate normal teenage stuff . Once they cross the line I would not hesitate to turn them in them into the police. In todays society parents want to be their children's friends. Im sorry that is crazy. We should not be hosting drinking parties for teenagers so you can be the cool parents. These kids are going to be our future and I am afraid of this. Parents need to take back the control and teach these kids what respect is and hard work does pay off .
Sharon September 28, 2012 at 02:39 AM
I wholeheartedly agree! My son is 20 now, and although we went through some normal stuff (sneaking girls in, some wine drinking at a party once) he would never go THERE. And trust me, at 6 ft. 6, he certainly could have done some damage if he had it in him. I raised him better than to think hitting someone with ANYTHING is OK. It is not.
Bob September 28, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Richard, I have to say you are very ignorant. Were you actually there when it happened? NO...so shut your mouth. You can't assume this guy is a "bully". What would you do if you were surrounded by a bunch of punk teenagers with weapons. You don't know the facts of the case so you should keep your mouth shut. This is the first time i've ever posted on the Patch. I couldn't read any more of your stupid comments. Please shut up, you're obviously a loser that has nothing better to do than defend a loser kid that got himself in trouble after trying to be a tough guy in front of his friends. The loser left the scene and returned with a weapon. You're a bigger loser for trying to defend him. I hope he spends a few years in jail to straighten himself out. The kid is obviously a spawn of satan...underage drinking, mouthed off to an adult that tried to stop them, leaving to obtain a weapon, and then nearly beating the guy to death. Oh...yeah, he sounds like a real winner. Keep defending him, you're just as much as a loser as he is. You're probably the Dad that hosts parties for your kids to let them drink and abuse drugs. Are you just making up for being a reject in high school? Get a life. Oh, by the way, the "drunk bully", his alcohol level was .03. That might be two light beers. Have a good one...go play in traffic.
. September 28, 2012 at 04:27 PM
I don't know this kid or his family and if he goes to jail forever or walks scott free will make no difference in my life. I do however know several of the so called "victims" neighbors who said this guy routinely went on drunken joy rides on his golf cart creating a distrubance in the neighborhood prior to this incident. The FACTS of the case are simple: 1) The victim was illegally joy riding and trespassing on public property when he came across these kids (who to be fair were also trespassing and drinking underage). 2) The "victim" confronted the kids, cursed at and threatened them, ultimately taking their beer for himself. At no time did he try to flee nor did he call the police to report these so called "punk teenagers with weapons". 3) The kid upset and scared he was just bullyed by a man twice his age, left the scene but came back to get his beer (admittedly not the smartest move) and brought a golf club to defend himself (he had already been threatened and basically strong arm robbed). 4) The "victim" struck the first blow attacking another kid on crutches and attempting to use the crutch as a weapon. Only then did the kid strike a single blow to the "victims" head in self defense. Sorry but the only "reject or loser" in this story is the GROWN MAN who thinks it's fun to drive around on a golf cart in the middle of the night and then start a fight and rob a few teenagers drinking in the park. Karma is a Bit@h. Peace out.
Bob September 28, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Peace out?...You're obviously tough and from the ghetto. Everything you mentioned is what the court will call "here-say". The ONLY fact of the case is the kid left and returned with a weapon. This proves he returned with an intent to injure. If he was "upset and scared" as you mentioned, maybe he should have stayed away after he left and was out of harm's way. You keep calling this guy a "drunk bully". You weren't there, neither was I. You're assuming the guy was a belligerent drunk, but his blood alcohol level was .03. That's barely a buzz. You are right about one thing...Karma IS a Bit@h, and I'm sure it will come back around to bite this kid. He's a bad seed. Oh yeah...Peace out!
. September 28, 2012 at 04:41 PM
As far as I can tell, the kid in question is doing OK in school. Susan earlier stated that he is currently "being held up as a "leader" at PAHS. If my kid did something like Sean Mitten (ambushing and robbing an old man), I would be ashamed and agree he needed to go to jail to learn a lesson. The case we are talking about is totally different. I would punish and ground my boy for drinking under age and lieing about where he was and would advise him to come get me next time a adult drunk confronts him but would not cooperate with the police trying to charge him for defending himself against a bully twice his age. For the record, my kids have NEVER been in trouble with the law nor have I. If you asked my son, he would strongly disagree that I am "easy" on him or don't demand he work hard. The bottom line is it just upsets me when I see other adults slandering a young man who made a mistake but was clearly provoked by an adult who should know better. The fact that I have spoken to several of the "victims" neighbors who confirmed he is a drunken, loud mouth just confirms this option. The justice system will decide this kid's fate, not a bunch of message board posts. I'm done here. If you want to continue to slander a kid online, good luck with that. Peace out.
. September 28, 2012 at 04:51 PM
From the ghetto? LOL! I happen to live in a very nice neighborhood thank you very much. In fact, I'll bet you couldn't afford a place in my neighborhood (which is why it's worth the high price to get away from white trash, low class losers like yourself). The kid has three witnesses. The "victim" only has his girlfriend. Why do you think this trial process has been so drawn out? The DA knows the jury won't convict and are trying to get a deal to save face and the kid isn't going to take a felony that will follow him forever. In the end he'll get no jail time and because he was 16 at the time, his record will be cleared once he is 18 if he doesn't get in any more trouble. Sorry your drinking buddy caught a bad one but on the good side I heard he hasn't been out bothering the neighbors on his golf cart since he took that beating. Maybe HE learned a lesson about bullying people. Enough said here.... 5000 G!
Bob September 28, 2012 at 05:00 PM
5000 G? Wow, you really must come from a nice neighborhood. I'm assuming your wife must bring home the bacon seeing that you're home all day every day commenting on Patch. You sound like a real winner. Go get a job you lowlife.


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