Aggravated assault charges dropped against 10-year-old boy accused of injuring white mate in ‘dodgeball’ game

Francis Akhalbey August 01, 2019
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Aggravated assault charges against the 10-year-old boy who reportedly injured his white schoolmate during a game similar to dodgeball have been dropped.

According to WXYZ 7 Action News Detroit, the incident, which occurred at the Ruth Eriksson Elementary in Canton, Michigan, in April during a game known as “Tips” resulted in his white schoolmate suffering a concussion and other facial injuries. The accused, known as Bryce Lindley, reportedly threw the ball at his classmate’s face intentionally – though the game is not supposed to be played that way. This happened after the game had ended.

Bryce’s mother, Cameishi Lindley, after learning her son had been charged expressed shock, adding that the issue could have been settled outside court as there was no harm intended.

“I couldn’t believe it,” she said.

“These kids are basically playing a game we all have played,” she added.

The injured boy’s mother, however, told WXYZ that wasn’t the first time her son had been hit and justified the incident being reported to authorities. She also said that the boy has a medical condition that makes him sustaining head injuries dangerous.

“I tried not to let it get to this point,” she said.

“My son was hit twice in the face with a ball previously due to this. The child apologized to my son and my son said ‘mom it’s okay we’re still going to be friends’”

Lindley, however, said she and her son weren’t aware of the boy’s medical condition and suggested he shouldn’t have been allowed to be playing that kind of game in the first place because of his health.

“I am unaware of any of those situations,” Lindley said. “I’m sorry that her child got hurt. I’d be sorry for any child that got hurt.”

On Wednesday, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy moved to drop the charge against Bryce, according to WXYZ. Worthy, however, via a statement, affirmed the white boy’s mother had every right to report the case, adding that race wasn’t a factor.

Read it below:

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. 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.

I will never try our cases in the court of public opinion or outcry. Petition drives, protests, and other public so called pressure certainly have their place in a democracy. But they should never impact what is done in a case and should not affect outcomes. Justice always should.

The Juvenile Justice System, while by no means perfect, is markedly different from the adult systems in many ways for many reasons. There are certainly more options available and there should be. As I stated yesterday, often times in the appropriate matter, the result is dismissal, getting services provided, diversionary programs, and other options. Many times, cases should not be in the systems if other solutions can be implemented. Many times we will “go back to the table” and craft results and can do that if all parties cooperate. I have always been willing to keep an open mind when warranted, especially in juvenile cases. Admirably, that was tried here but we were not the table.

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.

While the charge in this case is certainly sustainable, I have instructed my staff to dismiss this case today. It is my earnest hope that both sides will come back to the table to work out a solution that benefits both of these children. Again, I am confident that both of them are highly valued. I want to make sure that both children are served as we move forward and hopefully these charges will not have to be revisited.

Last Edited by:Ismail Akwei Updated: August 1, 2019


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