A 9-year-old autistic boy was left with a nail embedded into his skull after a group of bullies allegedly threw a wooden plank at him, his parents say.
Romeo Smith’s family told BBC News that the boy had been the target of older bullies for about a week before it escalated to the attack that left him injured on August 6.
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“As Romeo was walking away one of the lads came running up behind him and threw a bit of wood with a nail in it,” said father Craig Smith, of Nottinghamshire, England. “I saw it just stuck there, in the back of his head and then Romeo started screaming and running towards me.”
About a one-inch section of the nail embedded itself in the back of the boy’s head with the wood still attached, the Daily Mail reported.
The boy was rushed to a nearby hospital where doctors gave him morphine and removed the nail. His mother told the Daily Mail that the nail had bent slightly when it hit his skull.
“My partner was terrified, and I was so upset but Romeo has been so brave. He is a very lucky boy because it could have been more serious,” Natasha Smith told the Daily Mail.
Romeo is expected to make a full recovery, however his family is concerned about the long term effects of the attack.
“Now I feel I can’t let him out on his own because due to his ASD [Autism Spectrum Disorder] he is very vulnerable,” Natasha said. “And this has been happened and he hasn’t even told me about it. I just feel I wouldn’t be able to let him out because it could happen again and he probably wouldn’t mention it.”
Nottinghamshire Police told the BBC that they were investigating, but may pursue “restorative justice” rather than criminal charges.
“In cases such as this, where genuine remorse is shown and there is an understanding of the consequences of their actions, we try to mediate between both parties to avoid progressing down the criminal justice route,” police said in a statement.