UK Police Reopening Case After Child With Autism Was Brutally Attacked
The Avon and Somerset Police is in hot water over how they handled the attack on Antwon Forrest, and authorities are reviewing the investigation.
by Nick Fenley
May 06, 2022 at 9:42 pm
The Avon and Somerset Police, a territorial law enforcement agency based in southwestern England, has been embroiled in scrutiny for its handling of an assault involving a Black 12-year-old with Autism.
The incident went down back on Mar. 26 by a lake near Bristol, England. As a group of adolescents were enjoying a day at the lake, an “aggressive white woman” proceeded to confront them and allegedly attacked one of the boys with a boat paddle.
She alleges the boys were throwing rocks at children. All the boys deny this. Antwon was the ONLY Black boy present and attacked by this woman. In this video she is seen being very aggressive towards the boys and intimidating! Yet @ASPolice claim she was acting in self defense 2/ pic.twitter.com/LACkLF8ay1
— KingTriiciia 🌻 (@TRiiCiiAKANTREL) May 5, 2022
Law enforcement officials were soon notified of the situation. However, a couple of weeks later, they notified Antwon’s family that “no further action” would be taken in the case.
“The case has been reviewed and, unfortunately, the decision has been made to take no further action in the case. The main reason for this is that, during the interview, the suspect raised the possibility for self-defense. By this, we mean that the suspect admitted [to] pushing Antwon and, when pushing him, she had the paddle in her hand and contacted this with his head,” Avon and Somerset Police wrote.
“The suspect claimed she pushed Antwon away because he challenged her, and she felt threatened by the surrounding group,” the statement continued. “Unfortunately, this has meant there is no realistic prospect of conviction should this matter go to court.”
Avon and Somerset police are taking no action against a woman who hit a 12-year-old boy with a boat paddle because she felt threatened and was acting in a self-defence.
I repeat: a 12-year-old. Look at the bleeding gash in his head. https://t.co/QSmSWmeHot
— Elizabeth Pears (@BizPears) May 6, 2022
Word of the matter soon began spreading like wildfire on social media, sparking outrage over law enforcement officials’ handling of the situation.
“If it was me that had hit a white child, I would be in jail right now. I was devastated when I got the letter from the police saying they were taking no further action. I had to tell Antwon she was getting away with it,” Antwon’s father, Tyran Forrest, noted.
“He was so upset. I’ve brought him up to be brave, so he tried to take it on the chin. He’s trying to get on with his day-to-day life, but he’s affected,” Tyran added. “My son was standing there, blood pouring down his face.”
In response to the backlash, the Avon and Somerset Police issued a public statement earlier today.
“We’re aware of posts about an incident in Bristol in which a 12-year-old child was injured. This incident was taken seriously at the time with officers attending, taking statements from the child and an adult family friend and interviewing the suspect at a police station,” the agency wrote.
“Officers believed the available evidence would not lead to a realistic prospect of conviction, and all parties were updated,” the statement continued. “After becoming aware of the concerns of the injured boy’s family, we got in touch and have initiated a review of the case.”
We’re aware of posts after a boy, 12, was injured #Bristol on 26 Mar.
Officers attended, investigated & interviewed a suspect, but believed there was no realistic prospect of conviction.
We’re in touch with the family & reviewing the case.
If you can help call 101 ref 5222071897. pic.twitter.com/aDbk3CLC5v
— Avon and Somerset Police (@ASPolice) May 6, 2022
Authorities are currently reviewing the case and asking for the public’s assistance in the matter.
The suspected assailant has not been publicly identified.