Charges dismissed against Michigan boy, 10, after classmate hit in face with ball

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Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Boy, 10, charged after classmate hit in face with ball
A 10-year-old suburban Detroit boy has been charged with aggravated assault after hitting a 9-year-old classmate in the face with a rubber ball similar to a dodge ball.

CANTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. CANTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- Assault charges against a 10-year-old suburban Detroit boy have been dismissed after the boy was accused of hitting a 9-year-old classmate in the face with a rubber ball similar to a dodge ball.

The Wayne County prosecutor's office said students at a Canton Township school were playing "tips" on April 29. Tips is a game played with a rubber ball, in which the ball is tossed into the air and players jump up to catch it and throw it up into the air before they come back to the ground.

Prosecutors said the game ended and the older boy threw the ball "with force," at another boy's face. The ball hit the boy square in the face, causing a concussion and abrasions.

The injured boy's mother said he has a rare medical condition making head injuries particularly dangerous. According to an ABC affiliate in the area, mother also said her child had been hit by this same boy in previous games.

"My son was hit twice in the face with a ball previously due to this," the injured boy's mother said. "The child apologized to my son and my son said 'mom it's OK, we're still going to be friends.'"

The older boy's mother said she was unaware of previous incidents between her son and the victim. In a written statement, she said the only thing her son is guilty of "is being a black boy."

The injured boy was Caucasian.

The older boy had been charged with aggravated assault. Wednesday morning, the Wayne County Prosecutor Office said it was dismissing the charges.

"While the charge in this case is certainly sustainable, I have instructed my staff to dismiss this case today," said Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy in a statement. "It is my earnest hope that both sides will come back to the table to work out a solution that benefits both of these children. Again, I am confident that both of them are highly valued. I want to make sure that both children are served as we move forward and hopefully these charges will not have to be revisited."

Worthy said the race of either party was not a factor in the decision.