Posted on September 16, 2004

Student Says He Was Ambushed Outside School

NBC4.TV (Los Angeles), September 15, 2004

School officials are investigating after a 14-year-old boy was allegedly beaten and stabbed outside Ulysses S. Grant High School. Joseph Peyton said the incident occurred at about 3 p.m., Monday. The freshman said about nine students surrounded him near a gate outside the school in Van Nuys. School officials dispute that claim, saying two students were involved. “I turned around and someone socked me in the face and broke my nose,” he said.

Peyton said his attackers were using racial slurs.

The boy also was stabbed in the face with a blunt object, police said. Peyton’s father, Charles Peyton, said the alleged attack was racially motivated. “How can you study comfortably when you’re worried about gang-bangers beating you up when you go to the next class,” Charles Peyton said. Peyton transferred to the school from North Hollywood to take advanced placement courses.

Students told NBC4 that there have been conflicts involving Hispanic and Armenian students. The school’s principal said officials are investigating. School officials said they do not believe race was a factor. “As soon as we find out what’s happened, whether it was racially motivated—but from what we understand it was not at all, then the students will be disciplined,” said district spokeswoman Monica Carazo.