A cell phone video taken in a Philadelphia suburb shows a 13-year-old boy being kicked, dragged through the snow and then hoisted into a tree by his alleged attackers. He tries to run away but is caught again, and the bullies hang him by his jacket on a seven-foot-high metal fence.
Faces have been blurred in the video to protect identities. But the alleged attackers are the victim’s classmates, ranging from age 13 to 17, according to police. They captured the victim on his way home from school last month. Six of the alleged attackers have been arrested on charges including kidnapping and false imprisonment, and police are seeking the seventh.
The teen was not seriously injured. A good Samaritan came by, took the victim off of the fence and walked him home.
“They could have killed that kid, impaling him by the neck on that metal barrier. This kid was screaming for help and they beat this kid…it’s bullying, it’s bullying in America at its worst, it’s caught on video,” Michael Chitwood, the Superintendent of Upper Darby Police, told press.
The teen, whose identity is being withheld, says he was terrified.
“I tried to get out, tried to leave, tried to escape, tried to get up the tree and run away, but even when I did that, got out the tree the first time, they attacked me and they caught me again,” the teen told ABC News.
His mom told ABC News, crying, “This is scary man. This is crazy — there is nothing you can do to protect your own kids. What can I do about it? I’m a single person, I got two hands and two feet. I can’t fight a whole group, I can’t fight a whole school, I can’t fight a whole district.”
It’s still not clear what prompted the attack, but the teens attended an alternative school together for troubled students.
The district’s superintendent released this statement: “Although the news report of this incident may appear to give Upper Darby High School a public relations black eye, please know that the safety of every child in this district is of our utmost importance…I’ll take a black eye in the press anytime if it keeps a child safe.”
Check out the video: