Gary police call beating a hate crime
GARY -- Angel Garcia has a broken nose, a black eye and at least a
dozen bruises from a vicious attack by fellow students who beat him
on the ride home from school Wednesday, his mother said Thursday.
"They've been calling him a 'honky,' now they beat him and said they
didn't want any white kids on the bus," Maylee Garcia said. "Nobody
deserves something like that."
The police report classifies the attack as a hate crime.
Garcia moved her six children from a troubled neighborhood in East
Chicago to a house on the west side three weeks ago.
"The kids here were real friendly and I thought, 'Oh, this is going
to work out,' " she said.
But when Angel, 14, started balking every morning when it was time to
go to school, Garcia said she started investigating.
"He didn't want me to know," she said. "Certain students had been
pushing his head, took his glasses off, kept on messing with him,"
On Wednesday morning, Garcia went to Tolleston Middle School and
talked to a vice principal and security guards, who said they would
investigate complaints of harassment against her son.
But on the bus trip home that afternoon, her son was attacked.
"I see a squad car, my son's all full of blood. He said it was my
fault because I went to the school," Garcia said.
Gary Community School Corp. spokeswoman Sarita Stevens said she was
unaware of the incident and would speak to security officers. She did
not call back Thursday afternoon.
Detective Brian Rodziewicz arrested one teen suspect Thursday
afternoon. Investigators are waiting to view a security tape from the
school bus to identify at least four other attackers who are also
expected to be arrested and charged.
Anyone with information about the assault can call Rodziewicz at 881-
Contact Lori Caldwell at 881-3000, Ext. 3119 or lcaldwell@post-
trib.com. Comment on this story at www.post-trib. com
SOURCE: Lori Caldwell Post-Tribune staff writer