Charges Approved in School Beating Case

Misdemeanor battery charges could be upgraded to a felony if David Haddad's condition worsens

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A lawsuit claims David Osama Haddad, 17, was bullied and attacked on November 8th because of he's of Jordanian descent. (Published Wednesday, Nov 16, 2011)

    Misdemeanor battery charges were approved Wednesday afternoon against a Dyer, Ind., teen accused of brutally beating another student.

    The charges may be upgraded to a felony if 17-year-old David Haddad's condition worsens. Haddad has bruises, three blood clots in his head and traumatic brain injury, his attorney said this week.

    Haddad's attacker, an 18-year-old student at Lake Central High School, has not been publicly named.

    Haddad’s family filed a lawsuit in Lake Superior Court on Monday, claiming the school district turned a blind eye while Haddad was bullied for more than a year due to his Middle Eastern background.

    His brother and father went to court Wednesday seeking an order of protection against the group of students -- some named, most not -- who took part in the Nov. 8 attack that was recorded by school surveillance cameras and some cell phones.

    Osama Haddad was in tears during his time on the witness stand during the two hour hearing. He described what he saw when he reached the school's office that day about an hour after the attack.

    "I see him sitting in the chair. He was bleeding," he said. "[School administrators] should have called the ambulance for him. This hurt me so bad."

    The order of protection was denied for all but the single teen accused.

    The attack, said St. John Police Chief Fred Frego, was in retaliation for rap music videos David Haddad had posted online.

    "The suspect took offense to the music the victim was producing," said Frego.

    Frego said video provided by the high school showed a large crowed of students around watching the attack.

    "It was a passing period and all the commotion drew the crowd," he said, adding that a teacher came out of the classroom to break up the fight but, from what he could tell, no student intervened.

    The judge ordered all evidence, from cell phone videos to music video to Facebook posts, be preserved on both sides of the case.

    School administrators said the teen charged in the case will return to the high school and be placed in an "alternative program" to ensure he doesn't cross paths with the victim.

    Osama Haddad said he's not sure he'll ever allow his son to return to the school.

    "For his protection, because he's really hurt. We all hurt. We don't want this to happen again; not just to my son [but] to any of the kids," he said.

    Haddad is recovering at home, in the care of his mother, a registered nurse.