Juniata Park, Philadelphia ( Daily Mail): A ten-year-old boy has been charged with aggravated assault after he attacked his Vietnamese neighbour with sticks, stones and a skipping rope after months of tormenting her.
Minh Tran, 51, was found cowering in the backyard of her home in Juniata Park, Philadelphia.
According to Tran’s landlords, the boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had frequently made fun of her for being ‘dumb and fat’.
The child recruited his younger friends, thought to be aged seven and nine, on Monday evening for the sickening attack.
‘To have such a young offender committing such a violent crime – it’s almost a shock to my system,’ said Captain John Gallagher of Philadelphia Police East Detectives yesterday.
The ten-year-old, who lives one block away from Tran, has been charged as a juvenile with aggravated assault, criminal trespass, and related offenses, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
‘This ten-year-old torments her in the neighborhood,’ said Gallagher. ‘He’s tried to do things to her before in terms of harassments and threats.
‘He chases her and confronts her.’
Tran lives on her own on East Luzerne Street in an apartment next door to owner Pastor Dao Tien of Vietnamese Alliance Church.
The apartment was converted from a garage when Tien’s family took in Tran.
Tien said the harassment became routine but was unable to pinpoint when or why it started.
The young boys also targeted Tien’s family and would often come through the fence into their garden to cause general destruction and turn on the outdoor taps.
As recently as 8pm on Saturday, Tien’s mother-in-law called the police because the boys were running back and forth outside the house, pounding on the doors.
But Tran suffered the worst of the abuse.
At around 5.50pm on Monday, the youngsters entered her home through her open front door.
‘They saw a chance to get in,’ Gallagher said.
Once inside, they attacked Tran. One boy even took a plant and threw it at her.
Unable to speak English, Tran told a reporter through Tien that she was feeling physically all right.
Initially, she anxiously avoided saying what had happened before reluctantly stating that ‘they came and they beat me up.’
In addition to aggravated assault and criminal trespass, the boy was charged with simple assault, conspiracy, possession of an instrument of crime, theft, recklessly endangering another person, robbery, and burglary, according to Tasha Jamerson, a spokeswoman for District Attorney Seth Williams.
According to Jamerson, Pennsylvania allows for the criminal prosecution of children under 10 only in cases of murder.