A middle school student and his 15-year-old brother were arrested after a video of them bullying a special-education student was posted online. Now police are looking for the people who filmed the incident.
The video shows the boys beating up 13-year-old Gregory Sams after accusing him of "talking bad" about the bullies. In the video, the older boy is seen flashing a gang sign at the camera.
This incident has led to some serious legal troubles for the two boys. But it's also been a very upsetting experience for their mother.
Donna Hernandez, the mother of the two boys, took to Facebook in the days following the attack to apologize for her sons' behavior. But that doesn't undo what happened.
In the video Hernandez's younger boy, a classmate of the victim, throws the first punch. The older boy then chases Sams down and punches him repeatedly in the ear, reports The Huffington Post.
The attackers have both been charged with battery, and the younger boy has been suspended from school.
The video itself is evidence of battery, which criminalizes any unwanted physical contact or harm. In court, that video can be used to prove that the defendants caused physical harm.
Nevada also has strict laws about bullying, which may also come into play.
In the last few years, incidents of bullying that lead to serious harm have increased. That's led many states to implement laws that punish bullying as a separate crime. Many of those laws are designed to cover bullying situations that don't fall under other criminal laws.
In many cases, bullying laws also deal with what to do when these actions happen at school. While this bullying incident didn't happen on school property, two of the boys were classmates. That's likely part of the reason one student has already been suspended.
This time there was video evidence, but that's not always the case. If your child is being bullied at school, don't wait for police to find out. Talk to a lawyer about how your state's anti-bullying laws can protect your child.
The alleged bullies will have to face the music, but luckily Sams wasn't too hurt by what happened. He still has some bruises and pain in his ear but no permanent damage.
- Kids and Bullying: Learn how to protect your child (FindLaw)
- Specific State Laws Against Bullying (FindLaw)
- How to Deal With School Bullying (FindLaw's Injured)