Boy with special needs assaulted, no suspects detained
Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher; Photo credit: Honenu
Wednesday, September 9, 2020, 11:01 Although the police interrogated a suspect and connected him to the incident, the investigation of an assault on an 11-year-old boy on the autistic spectrum at the My Baby recreation park in the Yarka Industrial Area has been closed. Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing the minor and his mother, filed an appeal with the office of the Attorney General, demanding that the investigation be reopened and the assailants brought to trial. Bleicher: “My client, who was helpless at the time, was mercilessly beaten in all parts of his body while he was attached to a harness on playground equipment. His mother, who tried to shield him with her own body, was also badly beaten.” The boy’s mother summoned the police during the assault and also filed a complaint at the Acco Police Station the same night. For over one month, no steps were taken to investigate suspects. After repeated requests by the boy’s mother and Bleicher, the police opened an investigation that led to the interrogation of a suspect who connected himself to the incident. Despite that, “Surprisingly and incongruously to the cruelty of the assault, the circumstances, and the great damage caused, my clients were informed that the case had been closed on the grounds that ‘criminal proceedings are not a suitable framework for clarifying this incident’.” In the appeal, Bleicher emphasized that “This was an extraordinarily cruel act, which has many ramifications for the victim. The act cannot be written off as a youthful prank by the assailant. Moreover, the act was done with the encouragement of his friends and family.” In the name of the appellants, Bleicher demanded that the case be reopened, that the option of putting the central suspect on trial be considered, and that the police be ordered to investigate additional assailants and accomplices to the incident. Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing the boy and his mother as crime victims: “My client, who is on the autistic spectrum, was cruelly assaulted at the My Baby recreation park by an Arab, with the encouragement of his family, his friends, and employees of the park who were accomplices to the humiliation and the assault. The incident caused my client and his family, who are challenged as it is, irrevocable damage with many ramifications. Closing a case like this on the grounds of unsuitability to criminal proceedings is a cold-hearted instance of turning a blind eye, which allows base criminals such as this to continue their despicable acts unhindered.” The assault occurred approximately one year ago, when the family was at the My Baby recreation park in the Yarka Industrial Zone. The mother helped her son climb playground equipment which necessitated attaching him to a harness. Then one of the suspects, an Arab, imitated the gestures of the boy and along with his friends who were pressed against the opposite side of the equipment, jeered at the boy, who started to cry. Bleicher: “The boy was humiliated and frightened. His mother pleaded with the suspects to leave him alone. In response they cursed her with extreme vulgarity. Suddenly one of the suspects repeatedly hit the boy hard in the head. The boy, who was attached to a harness, could not escape. The boy’s mother tried to shield him with her own body, and was also beaten by the suspect.” The boy’s father saw from a distance what was happening and ran to assist his wife and son. The manager of the park also came, ordered one of the employees to unharness the boy and lower him from the playground equipment. In the meantime the suspects continued to jeer, curse and threaten the family. The mother called the police to report the incident: “I’m at My Baby. They beat my 11-year-old son. He was helpless and they’re escaping. They attacked my autistic son because they thought that he wasn’t climbing fast enough and they wanted the equipment all to themselves. One of them beat my son, hard, so I placed myself between him and [the assailant]. I tried to protect him with my body. He’s crying, in terrible pain and he has blue marks all over him.” When the suspects realized that she was talking to the police, they yelled at her, and one of them assaulted her and attempted to take her cell phone. The family filed a complaint at the Acco Police Station against the assailants and were told that the police would check the video recordings in the security cameras at the park. The mother also transferred photographs of the suspects that she had managed to take to the investigators. Despite investigation of the suspects in the assault, the police decided to close the case, and therefore Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher filed the above-mentioned appeal on behalf of the family.