SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) — A Northern California woman is facing charges that she grabbed a 12-year-old boy by the throat while confronting him about bullying her daughter, authorities said Sunday.
Delia Garcia-Bratcher, 30, of Santa Rosa came to an elementary school around lunchtime Friday and asked her son, who also attends the school, to point out her daughter’s alleged tormentor, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s office said in a statement.
The mother grabbed the boy by the throat in front of a number of children, the statement said.
No adult saw the confrontation, and Garcia-Bratcher apparently had not checked in with the school office before coming on campus, authorities said.
Mom accused of attacking bully may have wrong boy
By TERRY COLLINS, Associated Press
Updated 10:22 pm, Monday, May 19, 2014
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A Northern California mother suspected of attacking a 12-year-old boy she said was bullying her daughter at school may have targeted the wrong child, a sheriff’s official said Monday.
Investigators have not found evidence linking the boy to the bullying allegations, Sonoma County sheriff’s Lt. Steve Brown said. He said they are looking into whether another child may have harassed the girl.
“We are unable to determine if any bullying ever occurred,” Brown said. “We don’t know if this kid bullied this girl at all. It looks like he did not. We can’t find anybody to say that he did.”
The girl’s mom, Delia Garcia-Bratcher, was arrested Saturday on suspicion of inflicting injury on a child after sheriff’s deputies say she came to Olivet Elementary Charter School in Santa Rosa on Friday and grabbed the boy by the throat. She asked her son, who also attends the school, to point out who was bullying her daughter, the sheriff’s office said.
Garcia-Bratcher’s lawyer, Ben Adams, said Monday that his client is very upset over the accusation and adamantly denies attacking the boy.
“She does not deny confronting the boy and telling him to ‘knock it off,’ but she absolutely denies touching him,” Adams said.
While Garcia-Bratcher may have broken an administrative rule by not signing in when she arrived at the school, she had every right to protect her children, he said.
“I don’t know what the DA will charge her with, and if they do, we will absolutely fight it vigorously every step of the way,” Adams said.
Garcia-Bratcher told the Santa Rosa Press Democrat that she was about 3 feet away from the boy when she confronted him about calling her daughter a “dirty Indian.” She said he agreed to stop bullying her daughter and that they had no physical contact.
Santa Rosa mother accused of confronting suspected school bully denies grabbing incident (w/video)
A Santa Rosa mom charged with marching onto an elementary school campus and grabbing the throat of a 12-year-old boy she believed was bullying her daughter said Monday she never laid a hand on the youth.
Delia Garcia-Bratcher, 30, said she was about three feet away from the boy Friday when she spoke to him about name-calling, which she said had made her 10-year-old daughter come home in tears from Olivet Charter Elementary School.
After a brief talk, she said the boy agreed not to do it again and the two parted company with no physical contact.
“He just said ‘okay,’” Garcia-Bratcher said. “He was real polite and walked away.”
But the boy apparently ran to a teacher complaining Garcia-Bratcher grabbed his throat and shoved him, a sheriff’s spokesman said. He had red marks on his neck that were later photographed by the school, the spokesman said.
Garcia-Bratcher was arrested the next day after an investigation. She’s expected to make a first court appearance Thursday on a single felony count of inflicting injury on a child.
Lt. Steve Brown said Monday it is not clear what prompted the assault.
The boy told deputies he didn’t know why the woman grabbed him, Brown said. There appeared to be no connection between the boy and Garcia-Bratcher’s daughter, such as a shared classroom or lunch area, he said.
“We can’t prove these kids had any interaction,” Brown said. “Did she get the wrong child? I don’t know.”
Brown said it was possible the boy was lying. But he said statements from witnesses coupled with photos of the red marks “leads us to believe it happened.”
But Garcia-Bratcher insisted Monday she didn’t touch the boy, who her daughter said called her a “dirty Indian.” She said another student told her the boy grabbed his own neck right after the incident, saying he was going to get Garcia-Bratcher in trouble.