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Beating on video leads to teen’s arrest

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Columbus police arrested a 14-year-old home-schooled boy Friday on a preliminary misdemeanor battery charge, one day after he was captured on video punching and kicking a 14-year-old Central Middle School student less than a block from the school.

The video shows the middle school student being punched in the head, face and upper body more than 20 times. At one point, he falls to the ground and the other boy stands over him, cursing and punching him again.

“Stand up, right now. Get up,” the attacker says on the video.

The victim doesn’t attempt to fight back on the video. Instead, he turns away from the punches and tries to shield his face by holding up his arms.

At least three other young people watched the after-school beating as it occurred near the corner of Seventh and Sycamore streets, and one of them filmed it, according to a copy of the video in the police department’s possession. The fight ended as a school official approached the scene.

“Behavior of this kind is unacceptable,” Columbus police spokesman Lt. Matt Myers said Friday after viewing the video. “The thing that really concerns us is that there were other people watching this, videotaping it and doing nothing to stop it.”

Neither boy was identified by police since they are juveniles.

The 14-year-old victim was treated Thursday at Columbus Regional Hospital for bruises to his skull and a split lip. Additionally, he complained of lower back pain after being kicked twice in the side or back, police said.

John Quick, superintendent of Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp., said the victim was back in school on Friday in improved health.

“We are cooperating with police,” he added. “The student was on the way home when this occurred. It’s a serious incident.”

“Someone should have had the courage to stand up and say, ‘No, this isn’t going to happen,’” Myers said. “They should have called the police or the school beforehand, so we could have prevented something bad from taking place.”

The home-schooled boy was booked on a preliminary charge of Class A misdemeanor battery, which would carry up to one-year’s confinement and a $5,000 fine.

The boy’s family is cooperating, Myers added. The youngster was taken Friday evening to the Bartholomew County Youth Services Center, where he can be held at least 48 hours, police said.

“We’ll do everything we can to hold the individuals accountable, and their school is not going to tolerate this,” Myers said.

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