Police: 6 Delco students arrested for bullying
UPPER DARBY, Pa. - January 31, 2011 (WPVI) -- Some might call it bullying, others might call it a full blown assault, but it most certainly is not what the victim's mother had in mind when she moved her family here.
The boy's mother told Action News Monday night, the family fled Liberia, Africa in 2000 to escape the ravages of civil war and poverty for a better life in America.
"I came here looking for a better life, this is the land full of milk and honey. We all came here for the honey, I want to be saved, that's why I came in this country for, but look what happened," the mother said.
What happened to her 13-year-old son was captured on tape as recorded by one of his seven attackers back on the afternoon of January 11th as the boy was walking home from school.
"This kid was screaming for help and they beat this kid...it's bullying, it's bullying in America and it's worst, it's caught on video," Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said.
It's not clear what triggered the chaotic incident.
The video is a 7 minute slice of an estimated 20 minute long attack.
First, one of the attackers is shown kicking him as he is lying on the ground and then they drag him through the snow as he screams. The attackers then lift the victim up and stuff him into a tree. They are heard laughing as the victim screams.
The victim whom we are identifying only as an 8th grader at Beverly Hills Middle School then falls face first unto the ground and then tries to make a run for it.
"I tried to get out, tried to leave, tried to escape, tried to get up the tree and run away, but even when I did that, got out the tree the first time, they attacked me and they caught me again," the victim told Action News.
The video shows the seven continued to beat and punch the victim some more before lifting him and hanging him from his jacket on a metal fence.
"This is crazy, I mean, there's nothing you can do to protect your own kids and who knows, he could have been killed," his mother said.
Superintendent Chitwood agrees the outcome could have been a lot worse.
"They could have killed that kid, impaling him by the neck on that metal barrier," Chitwood said.
The incident occurred at the Parklane East Apartments. Police say at least one witness passed by and did nothing.
"More offensive is the fact that once again, no one called 911," Upper Darby Police Captain George Rhoades said.
Upper Darby Police arrested six of the alleged attackers and walked them out in handcuffs from an alternative school program for troubled students on the grounds of Upper Darby High School.
They face charges including kidnapping and false imprisonment. The defendants range in age from 13 to 17.
"And we took out the six individuals in handcuffs, put them in wagons, made sure everyone knew what we were doing and that is we're not tolerating bullying in any way, shape, or form," Chitwood said.
In a statement from Upper Darby School District Superintendent Lou Devlieger, he applauds "the teamwork of our teachers, school district security, and the Upper Darby Police in identifying and apprehending the accused attackers of one of our students. It shows how seriously we take the safety and wellbeing of our students even when an event takes place off campus on the way home from school."
pennsylvania, delaware county, bullying, local/state
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