Assault charges against 10-year-old dropped
Aug. 15, 2019 PLYMOUTH EAGLE.
Plymouth Michigan News
The criminal charges may have been dropped but legal ramifications my ensue from an incident on a school playground last spring.
A game of Tips on the Eriksson Elementary School playground in April came to an abrupt halt when a 10-year-old student threw the ball at a 9-year-old classmate, striking him in the face. The child, according to reports, suffered a concussion and facial lacerations from the force of the blow.
Tips is a game played with a rubber ball that is thrown into the air and caught by players jumping in the air.
The parent of the 9-year-old filed a complaint with the school and then with the Canton Township Police claiming the incident was an assault. Police investigated and referred the information to the office of Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy where criminal charges of aggravated assault were filed against the third-grade student. Those charges were almost immediately dropped and Worthy issued a formal statement regarding the incident.
“This case came to us as a not – In-custody case – that means that there was never an arrest. Efforts were made to resolve this matter before it was sent to us for a charge consideration. The mother of the alleged victim had every right to go to the authorities and the authorities had an obligation to investigate,” Worthy said in her statement.
According to Maurice Davis, the attorney for the family of the 10-year-old, “The victim had some type of disorder that made him especially susceptible to a facial or head injury.”
Cameishi Lindley, the mother of the accused child, said that she wants to take the case further as she feels that her son will forever be “the little 10-year-old black child in Canton that was charged with playing a game.” She said she remains unsure of what she will do although she has had nearly $15,000 pledged for legal fees through social media in response to her Facebook comments.
Worthy said that race did not play a factor in the decision to charge or drop the case.
“When this case was reviewed by my office, no one paid attention the race of either party. It is categorically wrong to suggest that this was charged based on race or geography.
“There has been quite a bit of inaccurate reporting in this case. There are also facts that played into our decision that have not, due to ethical rules, been reported,” Worthy said in her statement. “I have no doubt that both families involved love their children and want the best for them. But I do think that there is a better way to go forward at this time. And the cooperation of all parties is needed,” she concluded.
Plymouth Canton Community Schools also issued a formal statement regarding the incident.
“Eriksson Elementary School handles all situations and conflicts according to the Student Code of Conduct. The school district was aware a situation occurred between two students in April, 2019. The situation was handled by the school district in accordance with the applicable district policies and the Student Code of Conduct. We are not able to discuss the details of this particular student situation further due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”). The school district did not involve any criminal authorities in the situation, and the district is unable to comment on how or when any criminal authority involvement occurred or when any further hearings may take place,” the statement read.
Canton police officials confirmed that they began an investigation into the matter in May and had interviewed family members of the classmates, school officials and witnesses. They said the findings were sub- mitted to the prosecutor’s office the same month.