PEA RIDGE, Ark. (KNWA) – Eight juveniles now face criminal charges after physically assaulting a Pea Ridge High School student.
It’s a video that has been shared thousands of times through social media and text messages – a group of high schoolers beating up a teenage boy.
His mother is coming forward to speak out against her son’s attackers.
A Pea Ridge mother – who didn’t want to reveal her identity – was shocked when police knocked on her door.
“I am just so angry and so sick to my stomach,” the mother of the boy who was beaten said.
She learned her son – who is a student at Pea Ridge High school – was physically assaulted by several classmates.
“He doesn’t know these people,” the mother said. “So he doesn’t know who to watch out for?”
In the video, you can see a group of teens punching and kicking a boy while he’s on the ground.
“The motive was strictly intimidation, empowerment, and bullying,” Sgt. Michael Lisenbee from the Pea Ridge Police Department said.
Authorities say the main aggressor is sitting in the Benton County Juvenile Detention Center, and has a history with the Pea Ridge Police Department
“It could’ve been a lot worse,” Sgt. Lisenbee. “He could’ve been severely injured or killed.”
According to police, three juveniles were arrested with charges of battery, assault, and disorderly conducted.
Five additional juveniles were charged with disorderly conduct for witnessing the fight.
“Every child has knowledge they were going into the woods to attack this kid,” Sgt. Lisenbee said.
After hearing about this incident, another child came forward to say he too was assaulted by the same group over the summer.
His dad tells me he believes there could be more victims out there.
“We have to take things seriously,” the father said. “My hope is that the aggressors are expelled so students don’t have to wonder if they are next.”
Only one week into school, this boy’s mother says her child is still scarred from the experience.
“My child doesn’t want to go back to school,” the mother said. “He’s absolutely afraid to go to school.”
While the school district declined to comment on the issue according to the Pea Ridge Public Schools’ handbook, the board of education may expel a student for a period longer than 10 school days for violation of the district’s written discipline policies.
Bullying and assault both fall under these policies.