In a bizarre tale where an 11 year old girl who stood up to bullies was almost charged with a felony, compassion and common sense win out.
Maribel Cuevas of Fresno, California was playing with her 6 year old brother and other small children outside her home when two neighborhood boys rode by on their bikes. They threw water balloons at her and taunted her. Maribel picked up a rock and threw it at the boys. It hit one of them in the head.
Maribel didn’t leave the boy to suffer. She got her Aunt who called 911 and then the Aunt tended to his wound. Maribel ran down the street to tell the boy’s parents what had happened and to apologize. The boy was taken to the hospital and was treated for a cut on his head. He was released without any serious harm done. The boy even admitted he had started the battle–he had teased Maribel many times before.
What happened next borders on the insane. No less than three police cars and a helicopter showed up on the scene. Maribel was thrown to the ground and handcuffed. The family didn’t understand what was going on. And, the police refused to speak to her English speaking relative. She was booked and sent to Juvenile Hall.
Maribel spent the next five days at Juvenile Hall. Her parents were only allowed one 30 minute visit during those five days. When she was released, she was put under house arrest for a month. Officials debated whether to charge her with a felony. The girl had never been in trouble before, yet they refused to even offer a plea bargain.
After some media attention about the girl’s ordeal, cooler heads prevailed. A deal was made in which the two children must hold talks with their parents present. Maribel will be on informal probation for 6 months. If she stays out of trouble, the charges will be dismissed.
People should not result to violence to solve their problems. But, sometimes you have to stand up against bullies. Sometimes you react without thinking to make the person stop messing with you. It’s good to find that someone had the sense to see this was not your typical problem child and that a reasonable solution was found.