A Detroit teen was brutally beaten by up to 12 students last Wednesday for his $130 Nike Air Force 1 sneakers, commonly referred to as "Uptowns."
According to the Detroit Free Press, some older students at Allen Academy tried to take 16-year-old Willie Wallace's sneakers sometime last month. Those students and Willie were suspended over that altercation. According to his mother, Sylvia Simmons, Willie was on his way to his last class when some of the students attacked him during this second encounter in retaliation for the suspension.
Simmons told the Free Press that her son was sucker punched in the jaw while walking to class. When he fell into the classroom, more students "jumped" him, she said.
"He has a fractured skull, he has blood on his brain and he bit half of his tongue off" during a seizure, Simmons told the Free Press. "But he's off the ventilator, thank God for that, and [Saturday] they're going to do the first surgery on his jaw so he can breathe properly and swallow properly." According to the newspaper, Willie was listed in serious but stable condition as of Friday.
Detroit police say that they have "one juvenile detained in connection with this case" and are still investigating the case.
The school's board members issued a statement to the Free Press: "Our thoughts and prayers are with our student and his family as he was involved in an altercation on Wednesday. … The Allen Academy Board of Directors enforces a Zero Tolerance policy for violence and will continue to cooperate with the authorities as the situation is still under investigation. We have heightened security procedures at the school and will continue to implement measures for the overall safety and well-being of our students."
Simmons told the newspaper that Willie, her only son, will not be going back to Allen Academy. "He's not going back there, never again. We're doing either homeschool or online schooling. They say Detroit public schools are bad, but these academies are worse," she said.
Read more at the Detroit Free Press.