Boy (16) taken to hospital by youth gang because he did not want to pay: “Nose shattered and possible brain damage” (Geraardsbergen)

Boy (16) taken to hospital by youth gang because he did not want to pay: “Nose shattered and possible brain damage” (Geraardsbergen)
Boy (16) taken to hospital by youth gang because he did not want to pay: “Nose shattered and possible brain damage” (Geraardsbergen)
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“On Sunday evening they threatened my son on Snapchat,” says FB, father of the sixteen-year-old boy. “He had to be at the station in Geraardsbergen at 8 am on Monday with 100 euros. We did our civic duty and immediately called the police. I received the answer that the police were understaffed. They suggested that if the situation got out of hand, we would call back.”

‘Security for every cent’

On Monday, FB will go to the station with his sixteen-year-old son. “We were not alone, I had some friends with me, so that we would certainly be safe,” the father continues his story. “A boy came up to my son to ask if he wanted to work for him, selling drugs. My son refused, to which the boy replied that if my son paid 100 euros he would be safe. ‘Security for every cent’, he said. Then I intervened and said that if that boy wanted 100 euros, he had to work for that money. Another boy then wanted to attack me from behind, but my friends stopped that. Another guy flew at my throat, I was able to keep him under control until officers arrived.”

Man breaks down

“It was quiet for two days, but on Thursday they saw that my son was alone and they completely outdid him. He was hit in the temple, fell to the ground and had to take several more kicks. An older man wanted to defend my son, and he was also punched.” Two minor perpetrators were arrested by the police and the East Flanders public prosecutor’s office has started an investigation.

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A fight also broke out in Zottegem on Thursday, with members of the same gang. “I have lived in Geraardsbergen for 33 years, it is the first time I have experienced something like this,” says FB. “I was recently in Brussels, and I felt safer there than in my own city.”

Out of action for a month

“My son’s nose is crushed, his eye socket is swollen, there is blood under his eye socket, and doctors can’t yet say whether he will suffer brain damage. I think it’s a shame that we have to take matters into our own hands, I don’t understand where we are going as a society. I hope that the court does its job,” concludes dad FB

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