New kid at school victim of alleged beating

By Theresa Schmidt - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The victim of a brutal beating is speaking out tonight. The 13-year old boy was attacked yesterday after a school function. Tonight, the teen, his father, grandmother and a witness are talking about the shocking attack.

They want to make sure it never happens again. Shirley McKnight says her son and grandson moved here from New York to help take care of her. But now, just nine days after their arrival, her grandson, 13 year old Reaquan Wimbush, is struggling to recover from facial fractures suffered after he says six kids attacked him after a volley ball game at his new school. "I got hit in the back of my head and then I ran because I didn't know what to do, so I ran. And then I had turned a corner and I slipped and a whole bunch of kids just jumped on me. They were punching me and kicking me."

Grandmother Shirley McKnight was shocked to see her grandchild.  "My grand kid came home all bloody. His eyes were completely closed. His nose was, it was like a horror movie."

They say it happened in this parking lot just across the street from Reynaud Middle School. Medic Shemika Ojoro says she witnessed the fight and called for an ambulance. "I was really concerned that maybe he had a head injury because when he was hit he fell. So, I went over there to check his head and I also saw this group of kids, probably about six kids kicking him, stomping him. So I went over there and I stopped the fight, told my daughter to get my cell phone so I could call 911."

Reaquan's father Elfair McKnight is horrified and angry that such violence could happen. "A group of kids jumped on him, started kicking him, punching him, beating him up. They attacked him. Two of the kids were not supposed to be on school grounds. My son told the lady that the kids were in school. Those two kids were waiting outside for my son. Once he got outside those kids joined in with the rest of the kids that he was with at the volley ball game, they attacked him."

He says something needs to be done to assure better security at school functions. "You know the lady keeps telling me that she was there watching, it couldn't happen, couldn't happen. But it was only one person, she was there watching all these kids."

Family members took cell phone shots of Reaquan after he returned home from the hospital. They say he will go to Shreveport for surgery on Friday.  The teen says, "It hurts a lot right now. I can't feel the right side of my nose."

And his father has pulled him out of Reynaud Middle School and made arrangements for him to go to another school. Calcasieu school officials say they plan to look into the concerns raised. A spokesman says the risk management department will do a thorough investigation into the incident. As well Lake Charles Police are investigating.