A 12-year-old boy lost his life earlier this week during soccer practice at school – and his parents are blaming a fellow classmate.
Dominick Gallegos collapsed and died Tuesday afternoon at Ulysses S. Grant Elementary School, in Colton, California.
His parents say his chest was stomped by a school bully prior to losing consciousness.
They were told by school officials that Dominick fell to the ground after colliding with another student, according to what the father, Joel Gallegos, told a KTLA.
Katie Orloff, a spokesperson for Colton Joint Unified School District confirmed the student’s death and said a crisis team was provided to the school.
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According to Colton Police Officer, Todd Smith, detectives were sent to the hospital and have ruled out any type of assault or physical injury that may have taken place at the school.
However, the district’s spokesperson told The Sun newspaper that “the particulars of this situation are being investigated by law enforcement at this time.”
Dominick’s father said he spoke with his son’s friends, who witnessed the incident and was told his son was kicked by another student.
They told him his son had slipped picking up a soccer ball and another student, who has a reputation for being a school bully, stomped his son’s chest twice and Dominick passed out.
“We were playing soccer, and he slipped to the ground. Then he got stomped and kicked in the stomach,” said Brian Salas, 11, as quoted by The Sun. “We all ran over to shake him.”
Brian said teachers then came running and performed CPR.
“They told us to get off the field, but we kept watching,” he said. “Then the bell rang.”
The father said he asked his son’s friends if Dominick had a problem with the other boy prior to the incident, but the friends said, "No, that's just the way that kid is.”
"I don't know where the teachers were," Gallegos said to KTLA. "Someone should have been watching those kids."
Gallegos and the boy's mother both said their son had no health problems and recently had a physical.