Gabriel Taye was just eight-years-old when he was assaulted at Carson Elementary School in Cincinnati.
Documented on a school surveillance camera, the shocking incident shows a student beating Gabriel, then others kicking him for a period of up to five minutes while he lay unconscious on the floor.
USA Today reported that two days after the assault, Gabriel Taye hanged himself.
The Cincinnati Enquirer obtained a report in which a Cincinnati police homicide detective described what he saw on the video.
“I witnessed behavior that in my belief is bullying and could even rise to the level of criminal assault.”
According to Jennifer Branch, the lawyer for the boy’s mother, school officials told Gabriel’s mother that he had fainted – nothing about the assault or the fact that he had lost consciousness.
Although officials from Carson Elementary School have not commented on either the assault or the video, Cincinnati Public Schools is taking issue with the detective’s opinion that multiple students were beating Gabriel. According to them, the video does not support this theory and they intend releasing their own version of the surveillance video. The children’s faces will be blurred to protect their identities.
Gabrielle Taye died on January 26, and his was the first youth suicide this year in Hamilton County. So far this year, seven county residents under the age of 18-years-old have died by suicide. Carson was a third-grader when he hanged himself on January 26 this year, two days after being bullied and beaten.
In the past, school spokesperson Janet Walsh said that Carson Elementary School had no reports of bullying during the period August to December last year, but she declined to answer any questions about this tragedy.
Gabrielle Taye’s suicide has triggered a police investigation. About a week after Gabriel’s death, a veteran Cincinnati homicide detective by the name of Eric Karaguleff wrote an email to the assistant principal at Carson Elementary School, Jeff McKenzie. Principal Ruthenia Jackson was copied in on the email, as were three other Cincinnati Public Schools officials.
Detective Karaguleff reported that footage from the security camera video on January 24 focused on a restroom entrance. Six days after Gabrielle Taye’s suicide, Karaguleff viewed the video and said he found it alarming.
“I saw some concerning events, and I don’t even have a child at that school.”
He composed a timeline describing the 18 minutes of video, and it is nothing short of disturbing. His timelines noted that a boy “with dyed hair sorta O’Dell Beckham Jr. style, wearing a red and gray coat” entered the restroom 11 minutes into the video. He then noted that “kids flee the restroom six seconds later.”
The boy in the red and gray coat hits another boy in the stomach, “sending him to the floor on all fours.” Another boy is then threatened by the assailant. Gabriel arrives “and appears to shake hands.” The boy in the red and gray coat yanks him down to the ground and “appears to celebrate and rejoice in his behavior” as the victim lay motionless.
For the next five minutes “many students step over, point, mock, nudge, kick, etc.,” the 8-year-old boy. Finally, assistant principal McKenzie rushes into the restroom and finds the boy.
Cincinnati Public Schools released the following statement, but some of the “facts” contained in the statement don’t sit well with Gabriel Taye’s mother and her lawyer.
“While we are concerned about the length of time that Gabriel lay motionless and the lack of adult supervision at the scene, when school administrators became aware of the situation they immediately followed protocol by calling the school nurse to evaluate Gabriel. The school nurse checked Gabriel’s vital signs, which were normal. She also contacted Gabriel’s mother and asked her to pick him up and take him to the hospital to be checked out.”
Lawyer Jennifer Branch said no school official mentioned any of this to Gabriel’s mom. Someone from Carson Elementary School had called Gabriel’s mother on the day of the assault, saying that Gabriel had fainted and was in the nurse’s office.
They stated that his vital signs were normal, so Gabriel’s mother picked him up and took him home. It was later that evening when Gabrielle became nauseous and started vomiting, at which time his mother took him to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
Gabrielle only told his mother that his stomach hurt, and his mother believes that Gabrielle didn’t know what had occurred that day.
He was kept in Cincinnati Children’s until January 25, where staff determined he was suffering from stomach flu. They were not aware of his potential for a head injury. Gabriel stayed home from school that day, but went to school on January 26.
At 5:30 p.m. on January 26, Gabriel went into his bedroom, tied a loop in his neck-tie, and hung himself from his bunk bed.
While the detective’s report stated that the issue could best be handled by school staff, he did ask for the name and date of birth of the boy wearing the red and gray coat. A police spokesperson, Lt. Steve Saunders, has since stated that the department has concluded its investigation.
Lawyer Jennifer Branch said that Carson Elementary and school district officials did not inform Gabriel’s mother that he had been assaulted at school.
“If the school had told her what had happened to him in the bathroom, that he was unconscious for such a long period of time, she would have taken him to the hospital immediately, reported that to the medical professionals, and she would have called police.”
[Featured Image by HarrisD/Shutterstock]