A 10-year-old from Michigan was charged with aggravated assault after allegedly injuring another student during a schoolyard game of dodgeball, but prosecutors said on July 31 that the charges were dropped.
The boy’s mother, Cameishi Triplett Lindley, wrote on Facebook that on April 30, her son Bryce was suspended from Erikkson Elementary School “for throwing a ball back at a student during recess, while playing a game called TIPS/ DODGEBALL.”
Lindley said she was later shocked to note that besides the suspension, her son had been charged with aggravated assault.
“I’m just as shocked as those of you reading our story,” she wrote, adding that a July 24 notification she received indicated her son has been ordered to appear in court on Aug. 1. “Today, I was put on notice that Bryce, a 10-year old, my son, is being charged with aggravated assault in the 3rd Circuit Juvenile Court in Detroit, Michigan.”
Her post caption accompanied a fundraising request to help with legal fees.
“I am asking for your assistance in securing a Lawyer for Bryce,” she wrote, adding, “The Attorney fees are $4,000. Thank each of you for your help and prayers.”
The campaign had raised more than $15,000 at the time of this publication, surpassing its $4,000 goal.
‘Should Not Have Been Playing a Physical Contact Sport’
Lindley said the ball her son threw allegedly caused another student to suffer a concussion.
“Clearly, this student should not have been playing a physical contact sport,” Lindley posted on Facebook, adding that “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.” She said she was told the student had a “chronic brain stem infliction.”
“He sustained facial issue damage to his face,” a parent at the school told the station. “He had a black eye and a bruised nose.”
The mother of the injured boy told WXYZ-TV she had decided to pursue legal action because the dodgeball incident was allegedly part of a broader pattern of her son being targeted. She said that in mid-April she told school administrators about a similar incident in which her son was struck in the face.
“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, who remained anonymous, told WXYZ-TV. She said the April incident involving Lindley’s son went too far.
A spokesperson for Plymouth-Canton Community Schools told NBC News in a statement that the incident between Bryce and the other student was “handled by the school district in accordance with the applicable district policies and the Student Code of Conduct.”
The spokesperson declined to provide details on the case, citing privacy, but added that it was not the school district that got the police involved.
“The district is unable to comment on how or when any criminal authority involvement occurred,” the spokesperson said. “Additionally, since the matter was initially handled by the school district in April, the district has had no further involvement in this matter.”
The Wayne County Prosecutor has dropped the charges against a 10-year-old who threw a ball at a classmate during a school game: https://t.co/nR07NvdMg9
— FOX 2 Detroit (@FOX2News) July 31, 2019
Wayne County’s assistant prosecuting attorney Maria Miller told Yahoo Lifestyle that 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.”
The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office said on Wednesday, a day before the scheduled court appearance, that it dropped the aggravated assault charge, reported Fox 2.
Prosecutor Kym Worthy said she told her staff to drop the charges because she believed there were better ways to resolve the issue.
“It is my earnest hope that both sides will come back to the table to work out a solution that benefits both of these children,” Worthy said.
Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.