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California girl, 11, charged for throwing rock


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California girl, 11, charged for throwing rock

18 July 2005

An 11-year-old California girl who threw a rock to defend herself as neighbourhood boys pelted her with water balloons is being prosecuted on a felony charge of assaulting a boy with a deadly weapon.

Maribel Cuevas says she didn't mean to hurt the nine-year-old boy, who acknowledged to police that he started the fight in late April. He needed stitches in his head.

Maribel has already spent five days in juvenile hall with only one half-hour visit from her parents. She then spent 30 days under house arrest, wearing a GPS ankle bracelet to monitor her whereabouts, and is due back in court early next month.

"They're treating her like she's a violent parole offender," her lawyer Richard Beshwate Jr said.

Assistant Fresno County District Attorney Bob Ellis said he could not comment on the case because it involved children.

Police sent three squad cars and a helicopter in response to an emergency call.

But authorities deny that their response was influenced by the setting – a low-income, largely minority neighbourhood – or by language difficulties.

Maribel's first language is Spanish and she and her family members speak limited English.

"We responded. We determined a felony assault had taken place and the officers took the actions that were necessary," Fresno Police Sergeant Anthony Martinez said. – AP


posted by Joey for MG :)

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