Standing up to a bully is never easy.
We’ve all been there as kids and taken our lumps.
They were just never broadcast over the Internet.
Which is what happened the night of Sept. 25 to a local 13-year-old boy.
He’d been bullied and had enough, he told Manatee County Sheriff’s deputies.
So he went to fight one boy in a parking lot at the Lakewood Ranch YMCA.
Only it turned out to be an ambush, authorities said.
After the 13-year-old was jumped by one boy, a second boy joined in the attack, surrounded by a crowd of teens who thought the whole thing was fun.
All of it captured on video and then put on YouTube.com.
Especially if this incident was premeditated, as authorities suspect.
Fortunately, the 13-year-old wasn’t seriously injured by his two attackers, who could face battery charges from the state attorney’s office.
That the 15-year-old attacker’s father was later arrested for giving his son a taste of his own medicine is surreal.
Yet the incident at the YMCA was serious.
When fights involve multiple people ganging up on one person, said MSO spokesman Dave Bristow, “things can get really dangerous.”
Eight years ago this month, James Brier, a 16-year-old Manatee High School student, was beaten to death during an after-school fight in a grocery store parking lot.
John Acosta, a 17-year-old MHS student, was convicted of manslaughter, but others reportedly joined in the attack on Brier that was witnessed by more than a dozen teenagers.
Acosta is incarcerated at Avon Park Work Camp serving out a 9-year, 3-month sentence.
He is now 25.
That this most recent incident happened outside the YMCA is odd.
The organization was holding a youth outreach program, 5th Quarter, to give kids something to do after Friday night football.
The fight could’ve been a tragedy trivialized on YouTube.
We’ve had enough teen deaths this year.
Mannix About Manatee, by local columnist Vin Mannix,is about people and issues in Manatee County. Please call Vin Mannix at 745-7055, write him at Bradenton Herald, P.O. Box 921, Bradenton, FL 34206 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a phone number for verification.