Son was assaulted. Should I notify police or school?

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Son was assaulted. Should I notify police or school?

My son was attacked by 6 kids from another high school outside his high school. He used martial arts to defend against them. He was slashed (very slightly because he moved out of the way) in the face with a box cutter. He gave out a bloody nose to one, possible broken jaw and a broken arm (kid with the box cutter). He does not want me to contact police or school. He promised me it won’t happen again. We are in a gang area and snitching is frowned upon. He promised me to lay low and quit seeing the girl at center of dispute. Any thoughts? My plan is to not contact authorities.

Asked on May 9, 2009 under Criminal Law, New York

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

I had an additional thought here.  You may also want to consider filing a police report because what if they try to turn things around and say that he was the aggressor?  They could then file a report on him.

Anyway, just a thought.

Happy Mother's Day.

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

First of all, contacting the school will only end up getting the police involved anyway since the assault happened just outside school grounds.  Besides, what can the school do, suspend them?  Somehow I don't think this will have much of an effect on these thugs.  So now the question becomes, do you or do you not file a police report?

As an attorney my answer is yes.  A serious crime has been committed.  Your son was lucky things weren't worse for him.  However, my answer as a parent isn't quite so clear.  I don't envy your situation.  I realize that you are concerned about retaliation if you go to the police.  But then again, they well could be retaliation anyway.  The kid with the broken body parts isn't likely to forget any of this anytime soon.

Finally, is it possible that your son doesn't want you to report this because maybe there is a part to the story he's not telling you?

Once again, no easy answer.  Good luck in your decision.


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