A case of physical aggression against Luis Osechas Carrillo, a 16-year-old Venezuelan, has caused commotion and indignation within the Venezuelan community in Florida.
A couple of days ago a video recorded during the month of October inside the facilities of Liberty High School, belonging to the Osceola County School District, went viral. In the images, it can be seen how a student, punches Luis Carrillo in the face while his back was turned. After the blow, Carrillo, who suffers from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), asks his aggressor to calm down, however, the other student continued to berate him, encouraging him to defend himself and threatening to “get him later.”
After these images came to light, the Venezuelan community showed its support for Carrillo, repudiating the aggressors and also asking the school to explain the incident. Initially, it was reported that the young man suffers from autism, although this was not confirmed by the family.
Luis’ mother, Merlyn Carrillo, who is a cancer survivor, gave several interviews after the video went viral asking for support from the community, explaining her side of the story and also denouncing Liberty High for negligence. Venezuelan journalist Carla Angola, based in Miami, also posted on her Instagram account a video of Mrs. Carrillo talking about the case and how the video went viral.
“With this video going viral, my son is no longer safe. Everyone knows his face, they can give where we are,” said the mother, who also commented that they had to move out of their home for fear that the aggressors would get their location. “Just as everyone got my number, so they know where I work, so can they (the aggressors).”
Merlyn Castillo also said that Luis decided not to return to school since she found out about the assault for fear that something more serious might happen to him. “He feels exposed and feels that something could happen to him. He told me that ‘now if he can come and shoot me three times,’ and I need him to be safe.”
In a radio interview, the mother said that the concern grew since the video became viral because one of the aggressors “even made a live broadcast yesterday, continuing with his mockery. That is, the boy has not even repented of the things they have done, on the contrary.”
Likewise, she also gave an interview to journalist Ally Rojas, of the media Club De Venezolanos, where she said that it was not the first time that her son suffered physical aggression at the school whose authorities promised to take prompt actions against the aggressors, however, Merlyn considered them insufficient.
“They had taken disciplinary actions, I asked which ones and they told me that I could not know them, but that they told me that two of the people were returning to school; so, I told him that my son cannot return to school. You remember what the video says, the video says ‘leave him, we are going to get him later.’ I was not going to risk anything happening to him there”.
What does Florida’s Liberty High say?
In the wake of all the uproar, Liberty High posted a brief statement on its Instagram account. The post has the comments disabled.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, it was three students who attacked Luis Osechas Carrillo. The students, who are “16, 17 and 18 years old, and whose names have not been made public, were charged with assault by the state prosecutor’s office on Oct. 29, but it is unclear what prosecutors did with the case,” reads the media report.
El American contacted Liberty High School and the Osceola County School District to find out more details about the physical assault against Luis Osechas Carrillo. However, there were no responses by the time this article was published.
In a press conference, Osceola County Sheriff Marcos Lopez claimed that “a team of officers investigated the incident” and that all the information gathered was sent to the State of Florida so they can take possession of the case and evaluate if the charges are appropriate and in accordance with the age of the aggressors.
Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón is a journalist at El American specializing in the areas of American politics and media analysis // Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón es periodista de El American especializado en las áreas de política americana y análisis de medios de comunicación.
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