Mother says her son’s bully attacked them on the street in Passaic

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PASSAIC -

A Passaic woman says that she and her children were attacked by her 12-year-old son’s bully while they were walking on the street.

The family says that the attack happened June 19 while Beronica Ruiz-Vasquez was walking with her 12-year-old son and pushing her 1-year-old daughter in a stroller. Vasquez says that the attack stemmed from an incident involving the suspect and her son at Public School 20 in Passaic.

“They told my son that Mexicans should go back behind the wall,” she says.

Family attorney Daniel Santiago says that the school was made aware of the bullying on June 18, but that they failed to notify the Vasquez family. The family requested a meeting with school officials the next day.

"He said ‘Oh everything is under control, I spoke with the students,’” says Alfonso Vasquez.

But soon after that meeting, things escalated. The 13-year-old suspect allegedly confronted Vasquez and her children on the street.

"The guy come and he say a lot of bad words and I say ‘Stop, don't do that,’ and the guy say to me 'Shut up' and pushed me,” she says.

The attack caused Vazquez to temporarily lose consciousness and fall to the sidewalk. Her son was also struck in the face. Vazquez spent two days in the hospital.

"She had a concussion, she had fractures in her face,” says Santiago.

The family is now looking to take action against the school. They say that they did not do enough to stop the bullying.

"I believe it has to take at least a tenor of negligence, negligence in their handling of the situation,” Santiago says.

The family says the school didn't take action until the mayor of Passaic stepped in and the student was then suspended.

Mayor Hector Lora released a statement saying in part “One thing is very clear what occurred to this mother is unacceptable and whatever we need to do as a city, as a community to do better by our families and our children we will do."

The Passaic County Prosecutor's office says the teen faces aggravated and simple assault charges. He was released to his parents. His name was not released due to his age.

News 12 New Jersey reached out to the Passaic school district for comment. A spokesperson referred all questions to the prosecutor’s office.

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