WARNING: The video at the end of this post is uncensored, and contains profanity and violence.
Video has emerged of a special needs student in Turlock, California being assaulted by another student. The footage, reportedly taken by a third youth last Tuesday, shows 14-year-old Michael Valdez being repeatedly struck in the face by another student. The attacker can be heard saying “you ratted” and “don’t snitch” while assaulting Valdez, before giving a high five to the student filming the encounter.
According to Turlock police, the violent incident began as a robbery involving three assailants before escalating into the assault caught on video. “Officers learned that three juvenile suspects had assaulted a juvenile victim and took items from him,” a department news release said. “Minutes after the original crime, one of the suspects approached the victim again and began punching him.”
The attackers stole the victim’s shoes and bike before the assault, according to his mother, Monica Valdez. “He started crying, he had no shoes on,” she told ABC10 news. “Two boys held him down and one boy took off his shoes, and they started hitting him on the ground.”
In a post to their Facebook page, the Turlock Unified School District said an investigation into the incident is underway. “We have identified the perpetrator in the video that is making the rounds on social media,” the statement read. “We are responding with our district disciplinary process to hold all responsible(s) accountable and to provide immediate support for the victim.”
Meanwhile, TUSD spokesperson Marie Russell said in a statement, “We are committed to providing safe and secure campuses for all students in accordance with our No Bully Initiative,” ABC10 reported.
As a part of that initiative, Turlock Junior High School employs a “Stop, Walk, and Talk” plan for bullying. This plan encourages students to tell bullies to stop, walk away from the situation, or talk to an adult.
According to the school’s official anti-bullying policy, “it is a violation of the Conduct Code for a student to be harassed, intimidated, or bullied by others in the school community, on the way to or from school, at school-sponsored events, or when such actions create a substantial disruption to the educational process.”
WARNING: The following video contains violence and profanity.
TUSD and Turlock police are currently collaborating to investigate the incident, according to the Modesto Bee. “Because this case involves juveniles, we will not be releasing any further information,” the police department said.
Special Needs Student Attacked — Sources:
ABC10 – “Video shows Turlock student with special needs being bullied, beat up by classmate”
CBS13 Sacramento – “Video Shows Turlock Student With Special Needs Attacked At Park Near School”
Facebook – Turlock Unified School District
The Modesto Bee – “Turlock school district, police look into video-recorded attack by student on another”
Turlock Junior High School – Anti-Bullying Policy
Turlock Police Department – Press release