CHICAGO (CBS) — On Tuesday, CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov broke the story about a 14-year-old student who was charged with a hate crime against a fellow classmate.
The in-school attack happened Monday in Crystal Lake, and the eighth-grader was charged with two felonies.
On Wednesday, the family of the alleged attacker called to tell their side of the story, in this Original Report.
The young boy, who has not been identified because he is a juvenile, is a “good child,” says his mother, Brenda.
CBS 2 agreed not to use her last name.
“I really can’t take it because I know what kind of child his is,” she said. “He’s a good child.”
Brenda is struggling with what is now her son’s uncertain future.
He is in a juvenile detention center, after allegedly attacking 13-year-old Omid Babakhani, in a school hallway, breaking both of his collar bones.
Police and prosecutors reviewed details of the altercation and charged Brenda’s son with felony hate crime and felony aggravated battery.
Brenda says the charges, especially the hate crime allegation, are unjustified.
“I don’t think that was his intent. Really, I don’t.”
Omid said his attacker first swiped at his Middle Eastern ethnicity and then insulted his mother before slamming him to the ground.
Brenda said her son, who has no prior criminal record, claims the two students were just joking, until Omid turned at one point and said, “I will beat you.”
“Then [my son] jumped on the boy’s back, and the boy fell to the floor,” Brenda said.
“Everything could have been handled in a better situation if there was an adult around. Someone to stop it before it happened.”
Brenda said she believes the school needs more hall monitors.
The superintendent for the school district said the school has hallway monitors, but school officials are reviewing procedures to see whether there is need for improvement.
Brenda is also upset with police because she said her son was fingerprinted and questioned before she and the boy’s father got to the station.
As for Omid, his parents on Wednesday said he will need surgery to put plates in both of his shoulders.