Police: 7-year-old boy was depressed, bullied

DETROIT — A child killed himself in his Detroit home Wednesday, apparently after being bullied by other kids and after his mother recently separated from his father, according to a police report.

The 7-year-old, the report says, hanged himself from his bunk bed in his home on the 700 block of Pingree using a fabric belt.

Police said the boy locked himself in his room and his 14-year-old sister, peering through the keyhole in the door, saw him hanging, alerted her mother and called 911.

His mother told police that she forced her way into his room by removing the doorknob, grabbed her son and held him up “to relieve the stress of his body weight,” while a neighbor removed the belt from around his neck, according to the report.

The mother told police that her son “had been depressed due to her recent separation from his father; the fact that he had been bullied continuously by the children at school, in addition to the constant teasing that he had endured because he was the only boy in the home of eight females,” according to the report.

The child, the report says, was in counseling with his pastor.

Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee Jr. called the incident “unfathomable.”

“It’s just a tragedy on so many levels,” he said.

Godbee said police are investigating the child’s death, but, at this point, it appears the situation is “exactly as presented.”

Next door, Harold Pleasant could hardly believe what had happened. He said that on Tuesday he helped the child’s mother start her van. She told him that the boy had a 1 p.m. doctor’s appointment.

While working on the van, Pleasant said he chatted with the boy asking him how he was doing in school. “I’m doing fine,” Pleasant, 62, said the boy told him.

On Wednesday afternoon, Pleasant was watching ESPN in his living room when his wife and daughter, who were in an upstairs bedroom, came downstairs. His wife said, “Do you hear all that screaming? Somebody’s screaming like they’re losing their mind.”


Posted by Tribune News Services

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