Bus attack victim suffered both physical, emotional wounds

Belleville News-DemocratSeptember 25, 2009 

BELLEVILLE, Ill. — A cut on his upper cheek. Two black eyes. Difficulty opening his mouth because of an injury to his jaw.

Those are the physical damages, according to his family's attorney, suffered by the 17-year-old Belleville West High School senior Sept. 14 who was attacked by two students during a bus ride caught on videotape. The beatings led to criminal charges against the two alleged attackers, both younger students at the high school. They have been charged as juveniles and released to their parents with restrictions that they remain at home.

Belleville lawyer Mike Weilmuenster said while the youth is healing from the effects of being punched in the face and head during attacks, spaced about five minutes apart, his emotional state is still uncertain.

"He's healing from his physical injuries, but the psychological and emotional injuries, it's too early to tell," said Weilmuenster, who was hired by the family to deal with numerous requests by local and national media to interview the youth, a senior in school.

Weilmuenster said the family, including the youth, will eventually speak with the media, "When he's comfortable and the family's comfortable. They will be happy to answer questions at that time."

The attorney, who said it's "too early" to tell whether he will file a lawsuit on behalf of the family in connection to the attacks said: "It's been very traumatic for them all. They have been inundated with requests from local and national media. They want to express their appreciation and concern for those who have supported them but want people to respect their privacy at this time. They don't want him to be further traumatized by the media."

Read the complete story at bnd.com

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