Report disputes mom's claim in school altercation

AP News
Posted: Aug 01, 2014 5:03 PM

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) — A report commissioned by school officials disputes a Northern California mom's claim that she did not put her hands on a boy she accused of bullying her daughter, a newspaper reported.

Chris Reynolds, a private investigator hired by the Piner-Olivet school district in Santa Rosa, says Delia Garcia-Bratcher, 30, touched the boy's neck, leaving four imprints that were later photographed by school officials, the Press Democrat of Santa Rosa reported Thursday ( ). Two students standing nearby witnessed the attack, but no adults did, Reynolds said.

Garcia-Bratcher has said she went to her daughter's school on May 16 and confronted the 12-year-old boy, but did not touch him. A private investigator's report commissioned by her attorney, Ben Adams, cites a 10-year-old student saying he watched the boy choke himself after the confrontation.

Reynolds says that boy was a close friend of Garcia-Bratcher's son, and his account was not credible. The boy had varying accounts of where and when the 12-year-old injured himself and offered a description that did not match the injuries, Reynolds said.

Prosecutors are still deciding whether to charge Garcia-Bratcher and have twice asked a judge for more time to consider the case, most recently on July 17.

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Garcia-Bratcher's lawyer, Ben Adams, questioned the significance of Reynold's report, saying there are always conflicting witness accounts.

"Nothing has changed," he told the Press Democrat. "We're still going to vigorously dispute this case. If the DA wants to file charges, they should get on with it."

Reynolds report also concludes bullying is not pervasive at the school. He says school officials have taken steps to prevent unauthorized people from coming on campus.