Mom grateful for girl who ‘knew in her heart’ to call 911 while others watched her son being assaulted

The unprovoked beating her 13-year-old son suffered from one of his classmates in a Summerside park was bad enough.

But what made things worse, her mother said, was that others stood around and watched. Some even shouted cheering them on. At least one videotaped the assault and circulated it on social media.

The mother said she did not expect the children to physically intervene. But someone, anyone, she said, could have asked for help.

Turns out someone did.

The victim’s family didn’t find out until a few weeks after the Nov. 10, 2021 incident, but a girl who saw what was happening called 911. When she yelled “the police are coming,” the beating stopped and the crowd dispersed. .

‘He needed help’

“It warmed my heart to know there was a student in that crowd who knew what was going on was not right,” the mother said.

“His safety was in danger and he needed help from the authorities.”

And while the other boy was sentenced last week to 18 months probation for the assault, the victim’s mother hopes the other lesson is that bystanders take action.

“Consensual or planned fights can be a reality between partners, but I hope the boys have learned a valuable lesson. I would never expect someone to intervene in a situation like this, but I think it’s best to seek help if you see someone in trouble. .”

The assault took place on November 10, 2021, at Heather Moyse Park in Summerside, where it was seen by a crowd of young people and was videotaped and distributed on social media by at least one person. (Laura Meder/CBC)

The mother cannot be named because it would identify her son and the attacker, whose identities are protected by provisions of the Juvenile Criminal Justice Act.

Her son, an eighth grader, has anxiety and a learning disability, and recently changed schools.

I can’t stand to watch the video

In a victim impact statement read in court last week, the boy said: “The incident that day really messed up my life… That day I realized I had no friends and felt hopeless.”

The mother said she cannot bear to watch the video, which the CBC has seen and is choosing not to publish.

In sentencing the 14-year-old boy, Judge Krista MacKay said the assault was shocking and heinous. She said it was also shocking to see so many bystanders doing nothing as they beat up the youngest child.

Summerside Police Sgt. Jason Blacquiere says bystanders should call 911 if they witness an assault, but he warns not to put themselves in harm’s way. (Wayne Thibodeau/CBC)

Summerside Police Sgt. Jason Blacquiere said the girl did the right thing by calling the police.

“In that environment, as a teenager, it can be quite difficult to step in and try to stop what’s going on there, but certainly most people today have a cell phone on their person and a call to the police or the 911 or even yelling Saying you’re going to call the police on the attacker or stalker is often enough to stop the attack, and then certainly go ahead with the call and have the police respond.”

Blacquiere said she would offer the same advice to an adult who has witnessed an act of bullying or assault, even though they may have the life skills to defuse the situation.

“Every situation is different and you have to gauge that in the heat of the moment, but we would certainly advise anyone to also keep their own safety in mind.”

Lasting impact on the family.

The mother said she regrets not being there for her son, even though she didn’t know what was happening. Her family has dealt with bullying before, but this incident has left a lasting impact.

“There’s a lot of blame there, unfortunately. You know, the word snitch seems to get around so much with that age group and that had an impact on not telling someone. I wish I had known and I could have been there that day to protect or prevent or, you know steer in another direction.”

Meanwhile, the victim’s family visited the girl who asked for help to express their gratitude and share what they hope for the future: “Just a few more people like that girl that day who knew in her heart that this was not right. “

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