Conflict Remains as New Police Report Released on “Poking”

Courtesy of Ruben Aguilar|

Turlock police and the Turlock Unified School District have issued a joint statement claiming that the alleged stabbing of a 6-year-old boy by a classmate with a pencil was, officially, an accident.

However, numerous witnesses continue to support the victim’s version of events, that the first grader was stabbed in the throat on Feb. 27 by a boy who had previously bullied the victim and several other classmates.

And Turlock Police Department representatives, quoting the police report in question, say that the the stabbing was only “possibly” an accident.

According to a statement attributed to TUSD Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Mike Trainor, commenting on behalf of Superintendent Sonny Da Marto, the two boys were pretending to sword fight with their pencils in a classroom when the incident occurred.

“One child stumbled forward and the other child was accidentally poked,” Trainor said. “There was some indication the child may have actually poked himself in the scuffle.”

A licensed vocational nurse was called to walk the victim to the office, with what Trainor describes as a pencil “pinched in the skin of the child’s neck.” The nurse then checked vitals, found no bleeding and stated the child did not appear to be in pain.

“The nurse and health technician followed standard first aid care and reporting procedures,” Trainor said.

Staff called the child’s family, Trainor says, while the assistant principal interviewed the students. The victim’s father and mother were unable to pick up the child, as they were in Modesto for a dental appointment, and the boy’s grandfather instead picked the boy up.

The boy sat in the office for 10 to 15 minutes with the pencil stuck in his neck, before the grandfather arrived. He asked for a piece of tape and adhered the pencil to child’s neck, then drove the child to the ER.

“This was clearly an accident and not a malicious act,” Trainor concludes. “The child was not ‘stabbed’ as has been mistakenly reported in the media, but was inadvertently and unintentionally poked. The district acted appropriately and professionally to provide immediate care for the injured student.”

Police Report, Some Witness Reports, Differ From District’s Story

Turlock Police Department spokesperson Officer Mayra Lewis confirmed Thursday that School Resource Officer Joseph Ramos interviewed the boy allegedly responsible for the “poking” and a second witness for a new, follow-up report.

The boy and the witness both claimed that the victim slipped and fell on his own pencil while playing swords.

Lewis says Ramos noted in the report, dated March 3 but only just made available to the, “it is determined to have possibly been an accident. There was no argument prior to the incident and the two boys appear to be friends.”

The father of the boy who was allegedly stabbed, Ruben Aguilar, maintains his son was stabbed and not “poked.”

“If he fell on it I would think it would go in further,” Aguilar said. “And as far as them being friends they (TPD) never saw them together, and just because they are playing together doesn’t mean my son wasn’t being bullied.

“He is 6 years old, and he doesn’t get that when someone is hitting on you everyday it means they are not your friend. Little kids don’t always get that, but you would think school administrators would know that” said Aguilar. “There were a lot of people on Facebook who have kids in that class who said the boy was a bully.”

Aguilar also noted he reported the bully to school administrators on three separate occasions, and that the bullying went unaddressed.

In the days following the incident, dozens of people have claimed bullying to be an ongoing, unaddressed problem at Crowell Elementary School.

Aguilar acknowledged the incident began as two boys playing swords with their pencils. But in a televised interview with KCRA, Aguilar said the boy allegedly said “have you ever played chicken?” and then stabbed his son in the throat, unprovoked.

Esther Tobar, the mother of a student in the class, posted numerous comments on Facebook which support Aguilar’s story.

“That kids needs to be taken out of the classroom, my daughter witnessed it all,” she posted. “This kid is obviously disturbed and needs help!”

In another post she wrote, “I'm not sending my daughter to school tomorrow since she's in the same class that he still remains in. I'm not going to chance it. I'm very irritated with school. He's bullied and hit my daughter before. He needs help and Crowell school is not the place for him to get it, and that's all I can say.”

Also, the victim’s grandfather previously told that no nurse was present when he picked the boy up from the school.

“I ask where the nurse was, they said she was somewhere else at another emergency,” he said.

Aguilar has also said that Emanuel Medical Center emergency staff considered the injury to be serious, despite the school nurse’s opinion. The boy was transferred via ambulance to the Childrens Hospital of Central California for treatment.

Ultimately the stabbing incident itself is not necessarily what upsets Aguilar. He remains upset that his child was left in the school office with a pencil stuck in his neck rather than taken to a hospital, and that the Turlock Unified School District has not apologized.

“I’m confused about that whole thing,” Aguilar said. “ My son is still scared to go to school. But regardless, kids will be kids, but it’s about how they (Crowell administration and staff) handled the situation. I got stuck with a $6,000 bill and I’m not even worried about that either. Nobody from the school district or the school has called me to apologize for how they handled the situation or shed any light onto what happened.”

Given the conflicting reports, Lewis put the pencil incident into perspective.

“This is why we don’t go and handcuff and arrest 6-year-olds,” she said. “Any one of them could be lying because they don’t want to get in trouble. It is what kids do.”


Comments 3

  1. maria Wright says:
    Esther Tobar is a drama queen I went to school with her. I'm surprised her kid wasn't stabbing people.
  2. Deseree says:
    I can tell you one thing , my child will be removed from this school at the end of the year . I notice it a lot at Crowell . They do preform assembly about bulling being my daughter comes home singing it . But I'm not sure what grades attend . She is only in TK . Regardless of the situation they should offer the boy who did the "poking" "stabbing" on school counseling maybe there's a underlying problem why this child is a bully. Maybe a counselor can address good behavior bad behavior and help deal with reactions with anger .
  3. Ashlee says:
    I think to properly evaluate this situation we might need a quick lesson... Teachers, parents, police, hospitals, Principal, fellow human beings. We are all free to draw our own conclusions, views and opinions, however being a resident of Turlock Ca (Born and raised) and a victim of bullying myself (from grown adults in this town) I understand the check turning in this town as well.
    I also might add that I do not know the people personally involved in this incident, however the bottom line is, their was a 6 year old child who had a pencil in his neck, who reported being bullied by the same child whose pencil was found its way in the victim's neck... I just think the bully might just be guilty for association with the pencil.
    Now I am also am aware that our police force (in general ) is unsure how to properly handle a bully situation, their report is very important so I hope the TPD would send their best man for judgement and honest evaluation to the site. So a word of advice for the public is to file a report every time EVERY TIME your child says they are being bullied for document purposes, to protect yourself and child from the neglect or bad judgement of authority figures such as simple teachers or uneducated police. Also understand the police work for you, so don't allow them to push it off, ask for a badge number and report number.. Follow up!!! Until that report is in your hand.
    As for emanuel hospital well I have also experienced their ER room and how bias they can be... They are so afraid of a lawsuit they will do whatever the loudest person wants to keep them quiet. Not to say that the child wasn't hurt, I have no idea (the school didn't feel the need to call or walk down the road) but I do know that Emanuel probably wanted to calm down a pissed off parent... who had every right to be pissed, but we will never know if the child was really hurt or not because Emanual is guilty of Covering their own bottom as well. Politics outweigh the patient here, too bad Emmanuel isn't dependable (Great delivery room thats is). If you like being told what you want to hear, this is the place for you.

    So again my personal opinion, from my personal experience and educated guess. I also might add that both children are victims here and the bullies needs help as well as the victim needs protection. And If everyone did their job correctly to their best ability this can all be avoided. Accountability needs to happen with our public school system, authority figures and parents. I pray for a honest Judge to evaluate and understand this twisted town of Turlock... that i do love so greatly and I wish for accountability to all authorities and adults in this town, including parents and hope a change starts soon.

    According to Web Md the Milestones for a 6 year old, usually are grouped into five major areas: physical growth, cognitive development, EMOTIONAL AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT, language development, and sensory and motor development. (

    Bullying: is the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively impose domination over others. The behavior is often repeated and habitual. One essential prerequisite is the perception, by the bully or by others, of an imbalance of social or physical power. Behaviors used to assert such domination can include verbal harassment or threat, physical assault or coercion, and such acts may be directed repeatedly towards particular targets. Justifications and rationalizations for such behavior sometimes include differences of class, race, religion, gender, sexuality, appearance, behavior, body language, personality, reputation, lineage, strength, size or ability.

    CYBERBULLYING : is the use of Information Technology to harm or harass other people in a deliberate, repeated, and hostile manner.[1] According to U.S. Legal Definitions, Cyber-bullying could be limited to posting rumors or gossips about a person in the internet bringing about hatred in other’s minds; or it may go to the extent of personally identifying victims and publishing materials severely defaming and humiliating them.
    Which our good friend Maria Wright was kind enough give us a prime example of.. If I am understanding correctly Maria?? That was not meant to hurt Esther Tobar?? Only to provide us with a wonderful example of bullying at its finest, Am I correct?? although you can see how that can be misinterpreted. A public apology would be, yet another great example of how to fix a misunderstand. It would sound something like this if you might need some ideas... Example: "I am sorry Easter Tobar for calling you a Drama Queen on the world wide web, for attempting to publicly humiliate you, and insult your child as well. It was very childish of me and I hope I can make it up to in some way. "

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