A 9-year-old child with autism was attacked by bullies. A group of boys took a wooden board with a nail through it and hurled it toward Romeo Smith as he was walking away. The victim was left with a nail in his head. If that were not shocking enough, police want to try to “mediate” between the families instead of filing criminal charges. The Manchester, England, case is sparking outrage all around the world.
According to BBC News, Romeo Smith was chased by two older boys on August 6. The victim’s father, Craig Smith, told the news outlet that as the child was walking away, he was suddenly attacked. One of the suspects ran up behind him and threw a piece of wood that had a nail in it, which hit Romeo. The father saw it stick into Romeo’s head. After the nail penetrated his head, the 9-year began screaming as he ran toward Craig.
The parents took the victim to the hospital, and the nail was removed. It was stated that Romeo is very lucky because it could have been much more serious.
Romeo’s mother, Natasha Smith, said that her son has autism spectrum disorder. After the attack, she is now afraid to let him out of her sight. Romeo never told her that he was being bullied. Apparently, the boys spent all week harassing her son. She is worried that something else might happen, and he might not say anything. Natasha expressed concern that the attack will have a long-lasting impact on her son. She also explained that due to his autism, he is vulnerable.
Police in Nottinghamshire told the publication that they are trying to avoid criminal charges. Instead, they want to “mediate” between the bullies and Romeo’s family.
In a statement, authorities explained their reasoning. One of the reasons cited was that the offenders showed remorse for their actions.
“We recognize that children sometimes do things without considering the consequences or the seriousness of their actions. In cases such as this, where genuine remorse is shown and there is an understanding of the consequences of their actions, we try to mediate between both parties to avoid progressing down the criminal justice route.”
The case is sparking outrage on social media. Anti-bullying advocates and parents of special needs children are shocked at the outcome. In a time in which bullying is becoming more common and more violent, some people feel that Romeo Smith should receive some sort of justice or it might happen again. A nail in the back of the head could have killed him. As one person mentioned, it’s like the bullies “got away with it.”
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