BERGEN BEACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Two teenage boys from Brooklyn were charged Friday with assault as a hate crime, following a June 5 bullying incident that left their victim blind in one eye.
Kardin Ulysse, 14, has had five surgeries and a corneal transplant since the attack at Roy Mann Junior High School, during which the two bullies allegedly jumped Ulysee in the school cafeteria and hurled anti-gayslurs at him. The eighth grader was repeatedly punched in the face until his glasses broke, and his right eye was blinded, CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reported.
“He is in a lot of pain. We actually trying to cope with it. It’s so hard and difficult for any parent to go through this,” said Pierre Ulysee, the victim’s father.
Sanford Rubenstein, the civil rights lawyer representing the family, said the severity of this case as an anti-gay hate crime should not be diminished, even though he said Ulysse does not identify as gay.
“If there are gay slurs and insults hurled as someone, as what happened in this case, it doesn’t matter what their sexual orientation is — it’s a hate crime,” Rubenstein said.
At the arraignment, the two boys were released on the condition that they have no contact with the victim. They live at home with parents, who described them as “good boys.” Neither had ever been in trouble with the law.
Ulysee’s parents were outraged nonetheless.
“I felt so bad, so horrible. The kids get to go home and our kid’s suffering with one eye,” Pierre Ulysse said, adding about the alleged attackers, “They’re not children. They are criminals. Children don’t do those kind of acts!”
“I now have a baby on my hands who suffers, and I cannot do anything,” mother Rose Ulysee added. “What they did to my son, they didn’t have to do that to anybody!”
Rubenstein said the Ulysee family will sue the city for failing to properly supervise the middle school students.
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