TURLOCK, Calif. — Monica Valdez's son, Michael, a Turlock Junior High School student with special needs, came home from school last Tuesday, and as soon as she saw him at the door, she knew something was wrong.
"He started crying, and he had no shoes on," Valdez recalled. "There were four boys. They held him down and took off his shoes and they started hitting him on the ground."
Not only did they steal his shoes, but they stole his bike as well, Valdez said.
Part of the attack was caught on video. In the cell phone footage, which has gone viral on social media, a kid can be heard saying to Michael, "You ratted about my f***in pipe, huh? ... You ratted, huh?"
The kid can be seen in the video punching Michael several times in the face, as Michael repeatedly says "no."
Valdez said she has watched the video countless times. It's hard for her to watch.
"When he hit him that hard, it just really hurt me," Valdez said. "And the kid keeps hitting him, and he ask him to stop. It really hurt my feelings, and I couldn't do nothing for him. I wanted to get in my truck and look for the boys."
While it's not uncommon for kids to take out their phones and record fights, what Valdez said she really wants to come out of this situation, is for kids to put the phone down and to intervene when they see something like this happening.
"If you see something like this, you can step in and open your mouth and say, 'Hey, what are you doing to this kid,' or 'leave the kid alone,'" Valdez said.
Turlock Unified School District officials declined an interview, but said in a statement that they say they're conducting a investigation into the incident.
"We are committed to providing safe and secure campuses for all students in accordance with our No Bully Initiative," said district spokeswoman Marie Russell of their "Stop, Walk, Talk" policy.
The policy teaches students to tell the person harassing them to stop and walk away. But the rules change when a student's life is in immediate danger.
Valdez said Michael is still traumatized over the event, and it will take some time until he feels safe in the neighborhood again.
Meanwhile, Valdez said she has filed a police report with the Turlock Police Department.
"I think all of them that were there should be held accountable for their part. Whether they're there taking a picture, stand there holding his bike. They were all standing there watching."
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