Mother of Sylacauga HS student says assault could have been prevented
SYLACAUGA, AL (WBRC) - Brandi Allen was in tears Sunday afternoon outside of UAB Hospital, while her son, Brian Ogle, was inside recovering from an assault.
"Instead of us planning for his 18th birthday, we're here. Why? Because he made a statement that he backs the blue? I'm still trying to understand how someone, no matter the color of their skin, can do this to another human being," said Allen.
Sylacauga police said he was assaulted in the parking lot of an old hardware store Friday night following his high school's homecoming game. Police said the 17-year-old was bleeding from his head.
Chief Kelley Johnson and investigators will be meeting at the District Attorney's office on Monday morning to present their evidence.
Johnson hopes to get warrants signed today so they can begin taking people into custody, but he doesn't know how long the DA's office will take in that process.
Over the weekend, Johnson says they interviewed roughly 20 people, including witnesses, family members and persons of interest.
Allen said her son's skull is broken in three places.
"Apparently he was hit with something that is possibly to be the butt of the pistol. He has stitches and he has real bad bruising on his shoulder. There's a lot of wounds on the back of his head from being hit as well," Allen described.
Police haven't determined a clear motive, but Johnson said it appeared to be racially motivated and social media could be a factor.
Allen said things started at the high school and then made its way to Facebook. She said her son received threatening messages.
"My son took it to the principal at Sylacauga High School and I commend him for that. He showed her the threats that were being made to him, but she told him there was nothing she could do. I'm appalled," Allen explained.
In a statement from the Sylacauga City Schools, Superintendent Dr. Todd Freeman said the district and police were made aware of rumors on social media regarding threats of violence at the high school.
The school was placed on a lockdown last Wednesday. Dr. Freeman said in the statement that the police and administrators implemented safety measures to ensure students safety.
Parents and students were also urged to take credible threats to the police. Allen said her son's assault could have been prevented.
"They have a job to do it at school and they failed to do it," Allen said.
Allen is calling for justice and wants arrests to be made.
"I want to see them handcuffed. I want to see them put in jail. I don't wish any harm on anyone's child. I would like for them to have to look at my child right now. I don't want any other mother to have to go through what I went through these past few days," Allen said.
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