CANTON, Mich. (WXYZ/CNN/AP) - Prosecutors are dropping an assault charge against a 10-year-old suburban Detroit boy who was accused of hitting a 9-year-old classmate in the face with a rubber ball similar to a dodge ball.
Bryce Lindley was accused of intentionally hitting a classmate in the face during a dodgeball-like game, and faced a charge of aggravated assault.
However, Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy on Wednesday said there’s a “better way to go forward” than to take the child to juvenile court. She encouraged the families to find a solution. The charge was filed Tuesday.
Mother Cameishi Lindley says she was shocked when she got a call last Wednesday from Wayne County Juvenile Court about her son Bryce. She was informed the rising fifth grader is charged with aggravated assault, following an incident at recess.
“I couldn’t believe it," Lindley said. “This is a kid that was playing on the playground with his friends. These kids are basically playing a game we all have played.”
According to a police report, another then-fourth grade student was struck in the face with a ball during an April 29 game of a dodgeball-like sport. Medical records show that student suffered a concussion.
“He sustained facial tissue damage to his face. He had a black eye and a bruised nose," said the boy’s mother, who did not want herself or her son identified.
The mother says her son has a rare medical condition that makes head injuries especially dangerous.
The police report filed after the incident alleges Bryce intentionally threw the ball at the other boy’s face. The 10-year-old was suspended from school for one day.
Lindley feels any punishment should have ended after her son was suspended.
However, the other boy’s mother says her son had been targeted before, and she reported it to the school in mid-April, prior to the April 29 incident.
“I tried not to let it get to this point," the mother said. “My son was hit twice in the face with a ball previously, due to this. The child apologized to my son, and my son said, 'Mom, it’s OK. We’re still going to be friends.’”
It’s unclear if Bryce was the child allegedly involved in the prior incidents.
Lindley says she wasn’t aware of the other incidents, and neither she nor Bryce knew of the other student’s medical condition.
"I’m sorry that her child got hurt. I’d be sorry for any child that got hurt,” Lindley said.
However, Lindley says due to his medical condition, she feels the boy shouldn’t have been playing the game in the first place.
Lindley created a fundraiser to help pay for her son’s legal fees, seeking to raise around $4,000. She raised almost four times her goal.