Playing a little too rough on the playground can land a kid in court these days, as a Michigan 10-year-old has learned now that the fifth-grader is facing a charge of aggravated assault for a playground incident in April.
The incident took place in Canton, Michigan, and was described by Cameishi Lindley to WXYZ-TV. Lindley said her son, Bryce, was charged after an incident that took place while children were playing a variation of dodgeball.
“These kids are basically playing a game we all have played,” she said.
Wayne County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Maria Miller said the case “was evaluated by our Juvenile Prosecuting Unit, and it was determined that there was enough evidence to for us to charge aggravated assault,” Yahoo reported.
The incident took place at Ruth Eriksson Elementary School, where a student was hit in the face with the ball, according to a police report.
WXYZ withheld the names of the injured student and the student’s mother, but it quoted the mother as saying her son has a medical condition making head injuries particularly dangerous.
The police report alleges Bryce tried to hit the boy in the face.
“He sustained … damage to his face. He had a black eye and a bruised nose,” and sustained a concussion, the injured boy’s parent said.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Lindley said, noting that her son served a one-day suspension.
“This is a kid that was playing on the playground with his friends,” she said.
Some critics of the charge said there is a racial overtone to the case.
This is absurd. I guarantee you if this was a white kid who did this to a black kid, he wouldn’t have been ARRESTED. Utterly absurd and racist.
10-year-old boy charged with assault after dodgeball injury: ‘Our kids are racially targeted’ https://t.co/UaV7Z3mIBv
— Robert J. Sheridan (@CrashSheridan) July 30, 2019
Kids been playing hard for years. I know I’m my youth I got hit in the face and I hit people in the face during dodgeball. Nobody parents came and complained cause that’s the game. She just didn’t like that black kid hitting her white son
— Shelp (@RockShelp) July 30, 2019
Some 10 year olds were playing dodgeball on the playground at school. A white kid got hit with the ball. Then they charged the 10 year old Black child with assault.
— Tariq Nasheed 🇺🇸 (@tariqnasheed) July 28, 2019
The injured student’s mother said that her son was hit earlier in April, which she reported to the school.
“My son was hit twice in the face with a ball previously due to this. The child apologized to my son and my son said, ‘Mom, it’s OK, we’re still going to be friends,'” the mother said.
Cameishi Lindley said she never knew of the earlier incidents.
“I am unaware of any of those situations. I’m sorry that her child got hurt. I’d be sorry for any child that got hurt,” she said, adding that perhaps a student with a medical condition should not have been playing games that could cause him injury.
So why is the mom of the child who was hit, not being charged with child endangerment? She admits she did not notify the school that the child had a previous previous medical condition that made him susceptible to head injuries. #dodgeball (1https://t.co/VIiY5HYScy
— Andie Johnson💬 (@Andiejo65) July 30, 2019
She stressed that point in a Facebook post about the incident.
“The ball that Bryce threw ‘allegedly’ resulted in the other student having a concussion. After meeting with the Principal about why Bryce was suspended while the other students who fully participated in this game were not, the Principal disclosed that the injured student has a pre-existing condition, ‘Chronic brain stem infliction…’ Clearly, this student should not have been playing a physical contact sport. This students mother is also a teacher in the local area,” she wrote.
Bryce faces a Juvenile Court pretrial conference Thursday.
Facing what she estimates will be at least $4,000 in legal costs, Lindley said the issue should have been settled in school, not the courts.
The injured boy’s mother implied that court was not her choice, either.
“I tried not to let it get to this point,” she said.
Lindley has appealed for help on Facebook to pay the legal bills; as of Tuesday, her appeal had raised more than $10,000.
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