A 14-year-old boy is recovering from broken cheekbones, severe cuts and possible internal injuries after fighting with a classmate during a recess dodgeball game.
Preston Hodge was reportedly left unconscious from the injuries and underwent surgery at a local hospital before being released yesterday.
Police are investigating the fight while school officials and the local community react to an innocent game that turned violent.
“Bullying needs to stop,” a family friend, Jeff Rust, told FoxNews.com. “I’ve got a daughter who is in middle school, so it really hit home for me. I think charges need to be pressed.”
The fight erupted during recess on Tuesday at Longfellow Middle School in Enid, Okla., about 90 miles north of Oklahoma City, when another boy shoved Hodge. The assailant, who remains unnamed, told school officials that he accidentally bumped the teen, who was playing dodgeball on the blacktop, and said “my bad.”
According to attacker’s the report, Hodge made a derogatory remark about his Pacific Island heritage and the two then began pushing each other. The boy then punched Hodge in the face and continued hitting him after the teen fell to the asphalt. According to the report, he stopped after hearing someone scream.
The Enid News reported that campus police will wait to question Hodge until he has more fully recovered.
A campus police report lists the incident as “aggravated battery” and has it marked as a hate/bias fight. Enid Public Schools spokesperson Amber Graham Fitzgerald told the Enid News that officials check the hate/bias box “anytime it may play a role in the situation, based on information gathered during the investigation.”
The investigation into the fight is ongoing, as the local district attorney will decide whether charges will be brought.