Boy, 13, complained about school bullies just days before lethal sucker punch
A 13-year-old boy from Southern California who was accidentally killed by classmates allegedly complained about the bullies to apathetic school authorities just days before his death, his family has revealed.
Diego Stolz died as a result of injuries he sustained at the hands of two other boys during a fight in which he was sucker-punched by them, which caused him to strike his head against a concrete pillar at Landmark Middle School where he was a student.
Stolz was rushed to hospital but removed from life support nine days later, having sustained a serious brain injury. The entire incident was recorded on camera, and the video later uploaded to Facebook.
A report on young Diego's tragic death can be found below:
The Los Angeles-based plaintiff trial law firm Taylor & Ring is now filing a wrongful death suit on behalf of the boy's family. They claim the Moreno Valley Unified School District is responsible for Diego's death on September 16.
Diego's adult cousin testified that he accompanied him to a meeting with Landmark Middle School’s assistant principal Kamilah O’Connor to discuss the bullying he was undergoing, but no immediate action was taken.
According to CBSN Los Angeles, attorney Dave Ring's claim states: "It is appalling that the school, which is supposed to protect its students, failed to address aggressive bullying that was occurring on its school grounds, even after multiple complaints were made.
"This gross incompetence by the school and its administrators led to the death of a young boy, who was subjected to horrific abuse while the administrators looked the other way. The family is devastated by the loss of Diego."
Ring also told the Los Angeles Times: "Part of this lawsuit is to make them accountable and to start implementing some real procedures to prevent bullying,” Ring said. “And to ensure when they get a complaint that a kid’s being seriously bullied, that they actually take some action and do something about it so another kid doesn’t get killed."
The Times also reports that Anahi Velasco, a spokeswoman for the school district, stated: "Our deep sympathies go out to Diego’s family as we share their grief over this tragic incident. This is still an active criminal case and the District is fully cooperating with law enforcement."
The two students involved in the altercation have now been charged with manslaughter. Their pretrial hearings are scheduled for Friday, November 1.