ST. JOHN, Ind. (CBS) — Prosecutors in Northwest Indiana could file charges Wednesday in last week’s brutal beating of a high school student whose family is from Jordan.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, David Osama Haddad, 17, was attacked by a group of students at Lake Central High School in St. John last week.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports
Haddad’s parents and attorney told CBS 2 this week that he has been the frequent victim of taunts and bullying because he is of Middle Eastern descent.
The family filed a federal lawsuit against Haddad’s school district in St. John, alleging that they ignored the year-long bullying that culminated in the beating.
Police now say charges are pending against an 18-year-old classmate at Lake Central High School, who is suspected of attacking Haddad in a school hallway.
Haddad’s attorney, Kenneth J. Allen, says Haddad was victimized for no reason other than his ethnicity.
“While he was born in this country, his skin tone and name – David Osama Haddad – has marked him as a target for those who would strike out against anyone that’s different,” Allen said.
He said Haddad suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of the attack.
The Haddads said it was the first time their son had been physically attacked, but they claimed he was repeatedly called names over the past year, including “terrorist,” “Little Osama” and “Little bin Laden.”
After Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi was killed, some students allegedly bought David a gift, saying something to the effect of, “here’s a gift, because we killed your uncle.”
Haddad’s parents’ lawsuit names the school, Lake Central School Corporation, and several school administrators and students.