PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Penn Hills Police said Tuesday that the student seen kicking a 16-year-old boy with cerebral palsy in a video posted to social media will face charges.
The victim, Isaiah Wooding, is seen in the video getting pushed down and kicked in the chest in a hallway at Penn Hills High School.
“Based on that information, from what we can see on the video, we’re going to charge the young man with simple assault,” said Penn Hills Police Chief Howard Burton. “He is a juvenile, he’s 17-years-old. He does attend the school.”
When it happened, investigators say it appears that some students were waiting for Wooding, a special needs student with cerebral palsy, to turn the corner in the hall.
Someone had a cell phone ready to catch the act on video. Others stood there laughing as Wooding took the unexpected blow.
“Here’s a young man who has special needs, he has a problem in life to start with. Why would someone pick on an individual like this? He’s not there for their amusement and entertainment,” said Chief Burton. “These kids who did this should really do some soul searching and look at what they did and ask themselves why.”
The victim’s mother has often complained that her son is a frequent target of bullying.
Police won’t be able to file charges against anyone else, like the person who shot the cell phone video, because they didn’t do anything considered criminal.
But Chief Burton is recommending the district take disciplinary action against those who were involved.