Autistic boy goes to hospital after school cafeteria beating

AP News
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Posted: Feb 24, 2015 7:51 PM

LIBERTY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri eighth-grader with autism has suffered complications from a severe beating he took in the lunchroom from another student, his parents say.

Twelve-year-old Blake Kitchen, of Liberty, has a cracked skull, a fractured jaw and damage to his ear that may require surgery, his mother said.

"It makes me sad and angry to see him have that moment of terror," Destiny Kitchen told Fox 4 News. "Is your son going to make it? To listen to him cry and say, 'Mommy, I'm going to die. Please don't let me die. I'm not ready.' It could have been avoided."

The Liberty School District said in a written statement that the incident is being reviewed and school leaders are cooperating with police.

Blake has Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism, and likes to sit at the same spot each day in the Liberty Middle School cafeteria. His parents say that turned troublesome last Thursday, when a boy moved Blake's belongings from his seat. When Blake asked the boy to move, another boy began hitting him until he blacked out.

That boy, whose name has not been released, was arrested and has been referred to juvenile court, Liberty police Capt. Andy Hedrick told The Associated Press on Tuesday. Hedrick declined to elaborate about the case.

Blake's parents said they sent a letter to the school's principal about a month ago complaining about the same boy bullying Blake's older brother.

Blake spent four days at Children's Mercy Hospital and was released Monday, Jessica Salazar, a spokeswoman for the hospital, said Tuesday.

Calls Tuesday the school superintendent's office and Destiny Kitchen were not immediately returned to The Associated Press.

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Information from: WDAF-TV, http://www.wdaftv4.com