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Mich. parents charged in crossing guard beating

In this Thursday, March 31 photo taken by an unidentified witness, crossing guard James Thompson, 73, is attacked by two suspects in Lansing, Michigan.

In this Thursday, March 31 photo taken by an unidentified witness, crossing guard James Thompson, 73, is attacked by two suspects in Lansing, Michigan.  (AP)

Two Michigan parents are charged with assault in the beating of a 73-year-old school crossing guard who tried to break up a fight between their 6-year-old son and a 7-year-old classmate.

Police say the boys got into a fight at Lyons Elementary School last week. They say the parents brought their son to beat up the other boy the next morning.

Police say the couple's son threw a punch, knocking the boy to the ground. When James Thompson intervened, police say the couple attacked him.

Twenty-nine-year-old Shareka McKinney and 26-year-old Darell Livingston are charged with assault and battery and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

The couple tells the Lansing State Journal they never intended for the boys to fight and only defended themselves against Thompson.