'There is a better way': Prosecutor drops assault charge against Canton 10-year-old

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

Canton — A day after announcing an aggravated assault charge against a 10-year-old Canton boy accused of throwing a ball at a classmate's face, the Wayne County prosecutor has dismissed the case.

"I do think that there is a better way to go forward at this time," Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement announcing the dismissal.

The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office said pupils at a Canton Township school were playing “tips” April 29 in which participants jump to catch a ball that’s tossed upward.

A fundraising Facebook page for a boy who had been charged with aggravated assault, after hitting a 9-year-old classmate in the face with a rubber ball, identified the school where the incident happened as being Eriksson Elementary in Canton. The charge has now been dropped.

Prosecutors say the game ended and a boy threw the ball “with force,” causing his 9-year-old classmate to suffer a concussion and abrasions.

"While the charge in this case is certainly sustainable," Worthy's statement said, "I have instructed my staff to dismiss this case today. It is my earnest hope that both sides will come back to the table to work out a solution that benefits both of these children ... hopefully, these charges will not have to be revisited."

Worthy's statement began by noting that the boy was never arrested, that efforts were made for a resolution before charges were considered and that "no one paid attention (to) the race of either" the suspect or the victim.

"The mother of the alleged victim had every right to go to the authorities and the authorities had an obligation to investigate," she said in the statement. 

The accused youth’s mother, Cameishi Lindley, has started a fundraiser through Facebook to pay for her son's legal expenses. The effort raised more than $15,000 — while seeking only $4,000 — by Wednesday morning.