Willamette High School in Eugene. A 15-year-old boy is recovering from facial reconstruction surgery after he was assaulted by a group of teenagers while walking home from school Feb. 27 near Laurelhurst Drive and Barger Drive in Eugene.

15-Year-Old Eugene Boy on the Mend Following Assault by Teenagers

A 15-year-old boy is on the mend following facial reconstruction surgery. This comes after a distressing incident where he was attacked by several teenagers while making his way home from school on February 27, close to Laurelhurst Drive and Barger Drive in Eugene.

Jenifer Sherman, the boy’s mother, shared the harrowing moment her son came home after the assault. “He entered, holding his head high as he always does, and simply stated, ‘Hey, I just got jumped,'” she recounted. The attack was so severe that one side of his face was significantly damaged, prompting an immediate rush to the emergency room.

A video capturing the attack has been circulating on social media. It shows the victim being punched and thrown to the ground, amidst the sound of teenagers yelling racial slurs.

Sherman revealed a disturbing proposition made by one of the assailants to her son, who is a high-functioning autistic. The attacker offered to stop the assault if her son allowed himself to be beaten for 30 seconds. During this brutal half-minute, the attacker repeatedly hurled racial insults at him, eventually throwing him to the ground and kneeing him in the face, which resulted in a fracture on the right side of his face.

On March 7, Sherman’s son underwent surgery to insert three metal plates to stabilize his fractured facial bones.

The community has called for the teenager responsible for the assault to be charged with a hate crime. The Eugene Police Department arrested the teenager on February 28, and he has since been released. Eugene Police Chief Chris Skinner, speaking at a Police Commission meeting, confirmed that the investigation is ongoing. The juvenile has been charged with second-degree assault, a B felony, as the authorities continue to explore potential elements of bias.

Dr. Silky Booker, a member of the Eugene Police Commission, expressed his dismay at the incident, advocating for it to be treated as a hate crime. He emphasized the racial nature of the attack, highlighting the use of racial slurs during the assault.

In light of the incident, Alisha Dodds, a spokesperson for the Bethel School District, stated that Willamette High School is collaborating with law enforcement and the families involved. Dodds assured that violence is not tolerated within their schools and that the district is dedicated to ensuring a secure and positive learning environment for all students.

Sherman has decided against sending her son back to Willamette High School, citing a lack of empathy from the institution. She is considering alternative schooling options for him. Sherman also reflected on her son’s journey from low-functioning to high-functioning autism, thanks to extensive therapy, which enabled him to succeed in a public school setting.

She expressed her disgust at the normalization of racial slurs among the youth, emphasizing the need for awareness and change.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to support Sherman’s son’s surgery and therapy expenses, raising over $13,000 since its inception in early March.

This article was written by Haleigh Kochanski, a reporter specializing in breaking news and public safety for The Register-Guard. For further information, she can be contacted via email.