Teen brutally beaten at Henrico school found guilty of assault

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HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- A former Highland Springs High School teen brutally beaten in school is opening up about being charged in a fight that left him in the hospital with a traumatic brain injury.

“I kind of feel like it’s ridiculous... cause I don’t deserve to be here,” Eric Martin said.

The 14-year-old was charged with two counts of simple assault for being involved in that melee last September. He was found guilty on one of the charges Friday afternoon.

A student accused of hitting Martin was also found guilty of simple assault.

Eric Martin

Eric Martin

Tami Gardner, who was in the classroom with Martin and the others when the incident happened, said Martin was wrong for hitting the student first and for calling him the “n-word.” But said that the other student was also wrong because he severely beat Martin and called him a gay slur.

Gardner believes charges against Martin were justified and said students on both sides were in the wrong. She says she's not convinced he was bullied.

“He shouldn’t be as sensitive," Gardner said. "And if there are certain people who are more sensitive to other things, they need to talk about it and get adults involved.”

But the teen and his parents contend bullying is what started it all.

“Nobody should be bullied the way I was bullied. And I’m only guilty of being myself," Martin added.

While Martin now has to now complete anger management classes imposed by the judge his family says this case is far from over.

“I want to see justice for my son. I want that the school system to be held accountable for what happened to my son and to other children,” Mary Martin explained.

Eric said he wants  other students in his shoes to hear this message.

“Don't take yourself away from this world. Don't ever think about it because hopefully it will get better," he said. "And you don't have to go through this. Stand up for yourself."

Highland Springs High School Classroom Attack

Though the judge found Martin guilty of one count of simple assault, she took his case under advisement. That means if he completes the anger management classes imposed by the judge, stays out of trouble and returns to court in six months his attorney says it is possible the judge could drop the charge.

Martin, who was left with a traumatic brain injury must now face a long medical road ahead. He must also now take his classes at home because his attorney said his doctor doesn’t want him in a classroom setting right now.

A week ago, anti-bullying advocate Tammy Motola presented the signatures from more than 130,000 people who signed a petition in support of Eric, and dropping charges against him.

eric martin


  • em

    Glad I didn’t sign the petition for this kid. Now we know the whole story. They tried to paint this kid as an innocent victim. You just don’t call a person a nig** then throw a chair at them and expect to not get your butt handed to you. Poor decisions lead to dire consequences. He got more than he deserved but he should know now that sometimes you just get the short end of the stick. Perhaps next time he will handle conflict a bit better.

  • Ron Melancon

    The judge must follow the law and can only base decisions based on the facts and without emotional feelings. EM is correct that once adrenalin kicks in and emotions take over people do make bad decisions . If Martin would not have thrown the chair and used that word and I believe gone to School Administration they would have addressed this. The sad thing is Mr. Martin is suffering. Based on the facts that came out EM is correct with his observations

  • Chrisbrownfrown

    Why was this story mis reported to begin with? We never learned about the racial slur until now? Once again disappointed by the media depicting the kid as a victim. highland springs bears most of the blame, garbage school run by garbage administrators.

  • Timmy__Buttt__Phucked__By_Susan

    Women are bullied all the time. Just ask them. That’s how they get lifetime alimony, child support, and the mortgage paid by a man who lives out his car.

  • Nicole

    I am so tired of this boy & his mama. He had a severe brain injury?? He probably already had one. This child need help if he’s been bullied since the first grade and so does his mom. They’re both crazy

  • Bob

    To bad he didn’t give the bullies what he got. For all you folks blasting this kid- he had been called for worse names by the black bully. The same kid who has repeatedly attacked and beat him. So he finally had enough- and all you self righteous a-holes lambast him for it.
    What a bunch of animals. My guess you all claim to good upstanding in moral when in reality you are from being anything moral or good. You all keep siding with the violent bullies and when they finally turn on your kids( I pray non of you are breeding) do not come whining to us. Just tell your kid you support the bully and they deserved to get beat to a pulp.

    • Meaghan

      So Bob, you’re saying that you know that this bully has physically attacked and beat him before? Is there an assault report? Do they go in front of a judge? Did the mom try to have the kid arrested and prosecuted for assault?

      • Nicole

        Meaghan I agree. The girl said she saw the whole thing. She’s in the same class. I don’t know what Bob was watching but this boy look crazy. He should have never said what he said and he should have never threw the chair. He got hiss a $$ whipped and I don’t feel sorry for him or his mother. Trying to make him out to be the victim.

  • mamafilipi

    This kid threw the first punch and called the other kid a racial slur. He deserved to be found guilty. If he was bullied the anti bully folks can get involved but just because he was handed his hiney doesn’t mean he wasn’t in the wrong.

  • E

    The kid who ended up in the hospital may or may not have had at valid reason for the first punch, BUT the one who beat him so hard and so much he was in the hospital with a severe head injury should gave gotten a much stronger sentence. It really doesn’t matter though because he’ll probably end up in jail before its all over. One he was down the battle is over unless he comes up for more. I don’t think this happened.

  • Tasha

    The boy did not say one racial slur. He said alot of hurtful things before he threw the chair and after the fight was over. By his his own admission he said he hate nigg—, he called them stupid nigg—and he cussed over and over. He was the aggressor. He was hit one time by the boy with the chair and hit the wall and fell to the floor. When he sat up he continued to yell racial slurs. I heard his testimony with my own ears. He admitted to it. He never told the teacher and passed the first hit. What would you do if you were hit with a chair by a crazy little boy. He look like he has problems and not just at school. So is it okay to shoot up a school filled with innocent people? Is it ok to hit a child with a chair who never said anything to you?

    • anders

      I think everybody is missing the point. All the focus is on Who is right and who is wrong. Somebody needs to worry about the other boy. If he is in High School and he could not control himself, He would beat someone so bad that he would put them in the hospital. What is going to happen to him when he gets out into the world. Next time he might kill somebody or be killed himself.

      • ???????

        Well he should not have thrown the chair or called him a racial slur and he would not have been in the hospital. He got what he deserved. He is not a victim. He threw a chair and got his a $$ beat. Oh well… shut up next time. The boy and his mother are attention whores

  • Meaghan

    Standing up for yourself, doesn’t equate to putting your fists up. I think if he hadn’t thrown a chair, which could have caused significant injury as well, then there probably would never have been a fight. Where was the mom and her petition when her son was constantly getting bullied for all these years, as she says he was?

  • Justin

    No he is not innocent lol, what’s did you expet? A white kid assaults a black one, calls him the N word, gets his as beat in return (which he deserved) and he is the innocent one? Get outta here, he can keep his charges. Maybe the kid should learn to watch his mouth and watch who he puts his hands on.

  • Glen Allen

    This boy “Eric” could have died as a result of his injuries, all because of a word? The “N” word. I think that both kids were wrong to fight, and I believe they knew what they were doing was wrong, but they were not by any stretch of the imagination equally wrong. The African American kid should be in jail, as his next victim might not live to tell about it. The article also does not state which kid called the other kid the slurs first. One slur is not less offensive over the other.

    • kim

      ok, so let me get this straight. The white boy throws a chair at the black boy. The black boy beats him up and “almost kills him” you say. Soooo let’s look at another situation in which white people claims Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teen, was the aggressor. He gets killed with a gun. You white people think that was ok. Why was this situation different? hmmmmm.

    • Jan

      I think you need to understand that when people are assaulted as Eric did to the other boy, do you really think that the boy was thinking of being soft on him, come on now, for instance you could say I you smacked me first, but you didn’t smack me that hard, but i busted your lip and blackened your eye, sorry but in the real world, fights don’t go down like that specifically when you have shown the aggression. I guess it was ok for this boy to throw a chair at the other student and hit him first, say if the chair had hit the other student, or if he’d gotten the best of the fight, you would not be saying all of this. I knew there was more to this story to began with, and this explains “WHY” the school and Henrico Police handled it as they did.

  • Belsma

    I think the “N” word is the most offensive word in the English language. If my kid ever used it, the consequences would be much worse at home than in court. That is not a word we use in this house, obviously it is used in his.

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