CPS Suspends 2 Coaches Accused Of Driving Teens To Fight
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UPDATED 10/04/11 6:36 a.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) – Two Fenger High School coaches have been suspended as officials investigate whether they drove a group of students to the home of a peer who was attacked by the youths.
The family of Darion Jones says the teen was beaten so badly that he lost a tooth, and his prosthetic eye was knocked out of its socket, CBS 2’s Pamela Jones reports.
“They hit me in the mouth right here, they hit me right here, and they knocked my contact out of my eye,” who said as many as 30 kids attacked him.
“I saw my son. He was bloody, shirt all ripped,” his mother, Patricia Jones said Monday. “I’m hollering, ‘What’s the matter? What’s going on?’”
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Patricia Jones intervened to try and help her son injuring her arm in the process.
“The doctor said it was strains and sprains,” she said.
During the chaos, the teen’s mom says one of the adults present introduced himself as a Fenger coach. She thinks two coaches brought the kids to her home.
At the very least, she says, the men did nothing to stop the beating of her son, which occurred in the alley next to her house.
The family says one of the coaches told them they were there to settle a score over stolen flip-flops.
“The coach said that my boys had taken some high school student’s shoes,” Jones said. “I told the guys in that car, ‘I’ll buy you a pair of shoes. Don’t take my child’s life. Don’t take my children’s life.’”
Darion says he never stole any shoes, an MP3 player, or anything else he is accused of stealing.
Officials with the Chicago Public Schools is taking the matter seriously.
“CPS decided to remove the coaches from their positions pending the completion of the investigation,” a written statement said.
But Patricia Jones says the whole family feels imprisoned, rarely leaving home because they say the attackers have promised they will strike again.
Darion Jones says he fears going back to class, but his mother fears for her son’s life.
“Please don’t let them kill my kids! Don’t let them kill my kids!” she sobbed.
Community activist Andrew Holmes is talking to neighbors to help police figure out who’s responsible for the violence that occurred.
Meanwhile, police tell CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli the coaches’ role in the altercation is not clear.
Police also say the brawl that injured Darion did not involve an attack by 30 people, but a one-on-one fight. They are looking at charging one 16-year-old boy with simple battery.
This is not the first time in recent years that Fenger High School has been the subject of notoriety in the headlines.
Two years ago, honor student Derrion Albert, 16, was beaten to death as he walked home from the school and was caught in the middle of a fight. Teens who lived in “The Ville” neighborhood around Fenger, 11220 S. Wallace St., were fighting with teens who were bused in from Altgeld Gardens near 130th Street.