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2013-05-02

Fracas results in stabbing of BMS student

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

An incident that occurred on Tuesday, April 23, left one Bandera Middle School student injured and another in juvenile detention in Kerrville.

At approximately 4:45 pm, a 12-year-old student apparently stabbed a 15-year-old in the leg three times with a pocketknife, according to Bandera Marshal James "Charlie" Hicks. The victim was treated and released at Children's Methodist Hospital in San Antonio. As policy, the Courier does not identify juveniles.

The attack occurred near a drainage ditch close to the back of the Bandera County Library. This site, where students often congregate after school, has been causing district administrators concern for some time, according to reports. That area, along with others, has been identified as a "hot spot" of problematic juvenile behavior. In fact, a similar incident had purportedly occurred within the library, but no charges or complaints were filed.

Although the attack was purportedly a continuation of an altercation that had begun earlier at school, administrators refute this allegation. They maintain it was a separate incident.

The investigation continues with Hicks looking into the possibility that other juveniles were involved in the attack.

Apparently, the victim's family contacted KENS5; the station led with the story during their 6 pm television newscast that evening.

The juvenile reported that three classmates stabbed him and beat him with a nightstick-type weapon. In an interview with a KENS5 staff reporter, the youth said, "They were cussing at me. I thought I was probably going to get killed." However, when interviewed by law enforcement officers, adults who witnessed the altercation offered a different version of the incident.

Apparently during the ensuing brawl, the victim's older brother came to the rescue, fending off his sibling's assailants by punching one in the nose, Hicks said.

According to reports, the victim's family had related previous incidents to school authorities, including the altercation that had allegedly occurred earlier that day. Bandera ISD administrators, however, refute this statement.

On Wednesday, April 24, Bandera Independent School District administrators sent out a mass email to inform parents about the confrontation.

This email underscored not only the significance of recent events, but also the fact that students who are unsupervised after school can become involved in situations that may result in serious consequences.

"While this incident did not occur on the Bandera Middle School campus, we believe it is important to inform our parent partners," the email continued. "The safety of our students is our number one priority and we will continue to be vigilant in protecting the children of this community while they are at school."

Taking exception to the district's supposed response to previous attacks on his son, the victim's father told KENS5, "This is something that could have been stopped long before it went this far. They (school administrators) said they would keep an eye on things, and this is what's happening."

According to Bandera ISD, however, violence of any kind is not tolerated at district schools. If the investigation reveals criminal activity, it will be dealt with appropriately, district authorities noted.

According to reports, the victim was encouraged to return home on a school bus the day of the incident. Instead, the 15 year old called his mother who gave him permission to go to the library, where the alleged stabbing incident occurred.