Mum ‘left for dead’ by school bully
A NEW Jersey mother got "jumped" and beaten unconscious by a 13-year-old boy who had been bullying her son - just one day after she complained about the alleged torment, her lawyer says.
According to the New York Post, the bully was one of three students who had been threatening violence on Beronica Ruiz's son - allegedly telling him "to go back to Mexico," among other things.
"They were chanting, 'Mexicans should go back behind the wall,'" lawyer Daniel Santiago told NJ.com.
The alleged bullying went down inside the cafeteria of Passaic Gifted and Talented Academy School on June 18, and Ms Ruiz, a Passaic County resident, was targeted a day later while walking with her son and 1-year-old baby in a stroller.
"This was a horrific and brutal attack," Mr Santiago said on Tuesday. "It takes a certain level of insanity to brutally attack a mother with a stroller and leave her for dead."
The 35-year-old had to be hospitalised after the incident and was treated for a fractured eye socket, according to NJ.com.
Photos taken at the hospital show her bruised and battered face.
Mr Santiago said Ms Ruiz was still suffering on Tuesday. He plans to file a lawsuit against Passiac Gifted on the family's behalf - claiming the school did nothing to protect her child.
"Lawsuits are the only thing that large institutions listen to," Mr Santiago said.
Ms Ruiz claims her son reported the cafeteria bullying to school officials, but they failed to call and inform her. She went to the school later that day and complained to a vice principal, who allegedly admitted that he should have called - but was too busy with other matters, NJ.com reports.
"That's a woefully inadequate response," Mr Santiago said. "'My bad' is not a good excuse for not calling (the parents), not telling them."
Ms Ruiz's attacker was taken into custody after the incident and reportedly charged with assault. Passaic Mayor Hector Lora confirmed his arrest Tuesday in a statement, which said the boy had also been suspended from school.
"As both a father and a husband, I am outraged over this incident," Mr Lora said, noting that the case was "being taken extremely seriously."
"As mayor, these are things you wish would never occur in your city or anywhere," he added.
"I have met with and spoken personally with the family. I have met with my chief of police, local officials and school administration as well as board members to make sure there is accountability and that this family receives justice as well as any help and resources we can provide. The details regarding what led up to this incident remain under investigation. However, one thing is very clear: what occurred to this mother is unacceptable and whatever we need to do as a city, as a community, to do better by our families and our children, we will do."
This story first appeared in the New York Post and is republished with permission.