Mich. parents charged in crossing guard beating

AP News
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Posted: Apr 04, 2011 9:44 PM
Mich. parents charged in crossing guard beating

Two Michigan parents have been charged with misdemeanor assault in the beating of a 73-year-old school crossing guard who police say tried to break up a fight between their 6-year-old son and a 7-year-old classmate.

The boys got into a fight last week at Lyons Elementary School, Lansing police said. They said the parents set up a rematch the next morning.

The parents drove their son to the crossing and told him to attack the 7-year-old, police said. They said the couple's son threw a punch, knocking the boy to the ground.

When James Thompson intervened, police said the couple attacked him, breaking a tooth.

Shareka McKinney, 29, and Darell Livingston, 26, were charged Friday with assault and battery and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. They have a court hearing April 12 on the two misdemeanor charges.

The couple told the Lansing State Journal they never intended for the boys to fight and only defended themselves against Thompson.

McKinney said her son had been bullied by the 7-year-old since her son started attending the school in January. She said he sustained scratches and scrapes on his face in last week's fight.

"I did tell (the son) you have to defend yourself," McKinney said. "You have to sooner or later."

Livingston said he told Thompson to let go of his son, which the guard did, but then advanced on Livingston. The father said he and Thompson exchanged words and the crossing guard came toward him holding a knife.

Thompson said he had no knife or other weapon.