A New York man pleaded guilty Thursday to a misdemeanor charge for endangering the welfare of a child following accusations he knocked down an autistic boy during a cross-country race.

Martin MacDonald, of Pittsford, also pleaded guilty in Rochester City Court to second-degree harassment. The Post-Standard of Syracuse reported the sentencing will take place on January 17.

MacDonald told officials he got out of his car and shoved 15-year-old Chase Coleman during a road race in a city park out of fear the boy would try to steal his wife's purse.

According to the news site, Coleman quit his cross-country running team following the incident because it upset him so much.

A run has been organized for Saturday in hopes of encouraging the boy to rejoin the running team.

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The teenager is unable to speak and has limited communication skills. Relatives said Coleman would not have understood anything MacDonald would have said to him.

The Monroe County District Attorney's office tells the Syracuse news source that MacDonald will likely serve no more than three years' probation with no jail time.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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