WCBS TV, the CBS Affiliate for New York City reports about an 8th grader who was savagely beaten by 11 students in Englewood, NJ:

What began as an innocent mistake ended in a vicious attack on a local honor student.

Police said as many as 11 students beat up an eighth-grader honor student in an apparent case of revenge. The victim, who is Hispanic, suffered severe injuries, and it was possible he may lose sight in one eye. It is not believed, however, that he was the victim of a hate crime. Police said the student who threw the first punch was also Hispanic, and the other students all come from diverse backgrounds.

The incident, which occurred near the Janis Dismus Middle School school soccer field, was so violent that 13-year-old David Muneton needed reconstructive surgery to his face to correct several broken bones.

His friends at the Janis Dismus Middle School in Englewood are stunned.
"It’s so hard. … I’m his best friend," Denise Melendez said before breaking down in tears.

Police have arrested seven students from both the middle school and high school, charging them with aggravated assault. The youngest one is just 12 years old.

Investigators said the teenagers jumped Muneton on Friday as he walked home from school to get back at him for an earlier incident during which the eighth-grader accidentally hit a girl with a basketball.

The superintendent said the girl, who has also been charged, led the boys to Muneton, saying "He’s the one."

"We do know that after the girl made the comment one of the people, the boys, who was with him immediately punched him," Superintendent Dr. Richard Segall said.

Students at the middle school have made a get well card for the 13-year-old — all of them outraged over what happened.

"He really didn’t deserve to get beat up like that because he really didn’t do anything and it wasn’t intentional that he hit her with a ball," student Michael Bailey said.

Some problems I have with this story, besides the fact it even happened.

  • It would be just as tragic if he weren’t an honor student.
  • It wouldn’t be any more tragic if it weren’t a hate crime, the fact that it wasn’t doesn’t make me breath a sigh of relief and I doubt the Muneton family feel any better after hearing that bit of news.
  • The fact that these students think that somehow it was just to have 11 students beat up a kid for hitting somebody with a basketball.  She probably said, “ouch.”  He now will likely lose eyesight in one eye and has to recover from several broken bones.
  • The student interviewed… even if it were intentional he didn’t deserve this.
  • That kids thought it was appropriate to seek revenge.
  • That these kids didn’t think at all about the consequences of 11 people simultaneously beating on somebody.

There’s definitely more that could be said about this, but it just sickens me.  News like this should make it hard for anybody to deny that we have a sin nature.  This is just utterly depraved.  We need to pray for David Muneton and his family, and we need to pray for churches and ministries in that area who work with kids. 

These kids need Jesus (we all do), and the only way youth violence such as this is truly addressed is until their is a transformation in individual lives and the culture they influence.  And that is a work of the Holy Spirit.  They also need adults who will engage community youth as role models.  Wonder of all the kids involved in beating this student how many have an adult who is actively spending time with them?

My guess would be zero.

HT: Drudge Report

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