TURLOCK (CBS13) — Police and the Turlock Unified School District are investigating a video of a student attack that’s making rounds on social media.
In the video, an eighth-grade student with special needs begs his attackers to stop. Michael Valdez, 14, was walking with a friend home from the park not far from his school last Tuesday afternoon when he was reportedly attacked by three other students.
Now the district is taking action after tracking down the suspects. The video shows Valdez shielding his face during the attack. He begs the other student to stop, crying out in fear.
Valdez’s mother, Monica, says the attacker stole her son’s shoes and his bike before walking away and giving a high-five to the person recording the video.
Valdez’s mother said he was left barefoot and hurt. “I saw the red mark on his face, from him getting sucker-punched in the face and in the ear,” she said.
She says he is in special education classes at Turlock Junior High School.
“I was so angry at the kid, and the other ones who were standby and watching it,” she said.
The video is now going viral, with hundreds of people sharing the video calling for justice for Michael.
“My son’s not a fighter. It made me cry. He said, ‘What did I do? What did I do?’ And he just socks him right up the side of the face,” she said.
“See something. say something,” is a message written on the sign outside of the Junior High School.
The district says neighbors brought the video to the district calling for answers. They also said they’ve been able to identify the three students in the video and are taking appropriate disciplinary action.
This attack, parents say, is the latest example of bullying becoming violent in their community.
“As a mother there is only so much you can do to protect your kids once you go outside the house,” Valdez said.
TUSD School District leaders released a statement which reads:
“TUSD appreciates all those who provided information in support of our “See Something, Say Something” protocol. We are investigating this incident and will administer consequences aligned to our discipline policy. Turlock Police Department has also been contacted and is conducting their own investigation. We are committed to providing safe and secure campuses for all students in accordance with our No Bully Initiative.”
The Turlock Police Department confirmed they are also investigating the robbery and assault.