None of the children involved in a altercation caught on video at a Dalzell middle school will be charged with crimes, Sumter County deputies say.
The department wrapped up its investigation of a scuffle between two boys Thursday in a Hillcrest Middle School bathroom and determined no crime occurred, said Sumter County Sheriff’s Capt. Allen Dailey. Deputies were at the school for about six hours Monday morning interviewing witnesses after a video of the fight was posted online. The case has been handed back to Sumter School District.
Deputies first started investigating the fight after the mother of one of the fight’s participants called the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office to complain about her son being bullied. She posted a 38-second clip to her Facebook page that showed a boy placing her son in a hold before throwing him to the ground while several other children yelled. The mother reportedly obtained the video after it was posted for a short time online.
While talking to the boys involved and eye witnesses, Deputies obtained another, longer account of the altercation, Sumter County Sheriff Anthony Dennis said. That video, roughly twice as long, shows the boy who was thrown to the ground take off his glasses and hand them to a bystander. The two boys then slap hands and appear to take fighting stances. They appear to swing at one another before the second child grabs the boy and throws him to the ground.
Dennis said the video posted to the mother’s Facebook tells does not show the full course of events.
“It’s not the full story,” he said. “Things aren’t as bad as they seem.
Both the children involved in the incident are 13 and in the eighth grade, according to the school district.
It’s not the full story,” Dennis said of the clip being circulated. “Things aren’t as bad as they seem.”
Still, school officials are taking the incident seriously, said Sumter School District spokeswoman Shelly Galloway. She said the district is working closely with police to determine exactly what happened in the Thursday incident. The district will discipline students accordingly after the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office finishes its investigation, she said. The school district has a no-tolerance policy when bullying is alleged.
“Any time there is an allegation or incident where bullying is involved we take it very seriously,” she said.
The mother of the boy thrown to the ground and her son were both protesting bullying outside the school this morning, along with about 10 other people. She posted on her Facebook page that her son has condition that weakens his muscles and has steel bars in his chest.
Reach Price at (803) 771-8376.