You’d think a grown-ass man knocking out a 12-year-old child’s teeth would at least dredge up an assault charge, but you’d have thought wrong. Because one Florida mother was left outraged and confused after her son was seriously injured and apparently nothing was done.
The 12-year-old boy, Malikai Villatte, told WFTX-TV that the man in question came upon him and his friends, screaming and cursing and then calling them the n-word, when the altercation seriously escalated.
“He was screaming at us, cursing at us, calling us the ‘n-word,’ and he came down to the middle of his yard, and I was like, ‘Who are you talking to?’ And he said, ‘Come within arm’s reach and I’ll show you who I’m talking to,’” Malikai said.
Pictures of Malikai that have been circulating around social media show his two front teeth knocked out as well as a severe gash to his mouth that required stitches.
“When I realized my teeth were dangling in my mouth, it was kind of shocking; I didn’t know what was going on,” he said.
To add insult to injury, the man, identified by authorities as 27-year-old Vincent Cerfalo, insists that he acted in self-defense; and, once again, he isn’t currently facing any charges and is, in fact, looking to pursue charges against Malikai for assault.
“I told them to back off and if they come on my property I’m going to defend myself. They said, ‘You won’t hit us, you won’t hit us,’ and they started to surround me,” Cerfalo told the news station, adding that the incident started when he shouted at the kids to get out of the road because they were blocking traffic.
“He touched me and I lifted my hand out, and I ended up hitting him. It was not my intention to hit anybody that hard; it was not my intention to knock teeth out or do harm, or cause any kind of trouble,” Cerfalo added.
Because, you know, striking out hard at a 12-year-old definitely falls into the “not causing any kind of harm or trouble” territory.
The children refute Cerfalo’s claim, saying that no one touched him at any point during the incident.
“He’s not going to jail, nothing is happening to him, and he’s basically getting away with it right now,” Malikai said.
Since the altercation has gained increased attention, the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office has released a statement saying that the case would be handed over to the state attorney’s office.
The statement read in part:
The investigation of the incident included statements of multiple witness, many of whom were present and had varying levels of involvement in the altercation. The deputies on scene determined one of the juveniles involved was responsible for the altercation. Due to conflicting witness statements, it was determined the best course of action was to send the complete report to the State Attorney’s Office for review. The reporting deputy further requested the State Attorney approve a summons request for one of the juveniles on a charge of assault.
I am certain the deputies on scene investigated this incident in good faith the night it occurred. My goal as your Sheriff is that the community shares the same certainty. As such, I have directed members of our Investigations Division to review the evidence and statements obtained in this case and to work with the State Attorney’s Office directly to examine all aspects of the incident. As such, they will evaluate any additional applicable charges against the individuals involved.
Read more at WFTX-TV.