Victim in viral after-school fight video recounts violent experience

Beloit teen isn't sure he'll go back to school
Victim in viral after-school fight video recounts violent experience

A Beloit teenager and his family are concerned for his safety after a video of an after-school fight has gone viral.

Josh Musick said he was going to play basketball with his friends after school April 27 when a boy he knew from school started to fight him.

“I was just trying to defend myself from not getting hit,” Josh said. “So he tries swinging on me, and then I swung back, and then they all started just rushing me, and when I got on the ground, they started kicking me and stomping me.”

Josh said he’d had problems with the boy a few weeks before when the boy came to Josh’s house and tried to steal his belt.

The after-school fight happened about a half-mile away from Beloit Memorial High School near Shore Drive and Beach Avenue. In the video, which was posted to Facebook Monday and had been viewed more than 300,000 times by Wednesday afternoon, several students can be seen watching and recording the attack.

“My reaction to it was kind of disappointing because I [knew] all them people since grade school, and just to see them watch me, watch them do that to me,” Josh said.

After the fight, Josh said he went back to school with cuts, bruises and a bloody nose. Beloit police said School Resource Officer Jamie Linder started investigating and arrested three of the suspects.

Josh’s mom, Jill, said the school suspended Josh because he said he was going to spit at the other boys. The suspension was supposed to last Friday through Tuesday, but Jill said the school called her and said Josh’s suspension would be extended through Thursday for his safety.

“I don’t think they handled it right. I mean they were just really vague about the whole thing and making it sound like Josh was at fault, and he wasn’t at fault,” Jill said. “Nobody’s at fault when you got four or five kids jumping one kid. That’s not one kid’s fault.”

Jill said watching the video of the boys stomping on her son’s head was especially difficult because Josh suffered brain damage when he was 6 years old. She said her son’s throat closed up when he had strep throat, which cut off oxygen to his brain.

“It made me sick. It just made me sick, made me want to cry,” Jill said about watching the video. “I’m thinking, ‘This is my son.’ And it could be anybody’s son out there getting beat like that. No child deserves that.”

Josh said even after his suspension is over, he’s not sure he wants to go back to school.

“I’m kind of afraid to go back to school, to be honest, because I don’t want to get jumped in the hallway or snaked or something like that,” he said.

Jill said she was also nervous about sending her son back to school and was considering moving out of Beloit.

“Anywhere. Anywhere but here. Anywhere that he can meet new friends and have a fresh start,” she said about moving to a new place.

Beloit police said the three boys arrested were all between the ages of 14 and 16. Police released them to their parents, and the boys are facing battery charges. One boy is facing a theft charge after police said he took Josh’s backpack. Police found the backpack at one of the suspect’s houses.

Jill said she thinks the boys deserve more punishment.

“I’m not saying I want those kids necessarily thrown in jail, but something has to be done,” she said. “When the kids do stuff like that, there has to be repercussions on that because that’s why it goes on so frequently because there isn’t any.”

The Beloit School District said it was looking into the incident.