Father says bully stomped on son's chest at school before he died: "This kid did it on purpose"
COLTON, California -- The parents of a 12-year-old boy who died after playing soccer on Tuesday, April 12th during a physical education class at an elementary school in Colton, California said Wednesday that a school bully stomped on their son’s chest before he lost consciousness.
Joel Gallegos told KTLA his son Dominick was playing on a field at Ulysses S. Grant Elementary School just before the school day ended when the incident occurred.
School officials told him that Dominick had fallen and lost consciousness after running into another student, Gallegos said.
Dominick was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Katie Orloff, a spokeswoman for the Colton Joint Unified School District confirmed that a student died -- and said a crisis team was at the school on Wednesday. She did not provide any details as to what occurred at the school on Tuesday.
"Everybody here is trying to do their best to support each other and work through it as the community that we are," Orloff said.
Detectives were sent to the hospital and ruled out any type of assault or physical injury that may have happened at the school, according to Colton Police Department Officer Todd Smith, the school's resource officer.
Smith said investigators were waiting for a report from the county coroner's office.
However, Dominick’s father talked to his son's friends who witnessed the incident -- and Joel Gallegos told KTLA he believes his son was kicked by another student.
Dominick's friends told Gallegos that Dominick slipped when he went to pick up a soccer ball and another student, who Gallegos said has a reputation for being a school bully, stomped on his son’s chest twice and Dominick lost consciousness.