Questions surround incident at Lew Wallace school

2013-04-10T18:02:00Z 2013-04-10T21:04:24Z Questions surround incident at Lew Wallace schoolElvia Malagon elvia.malagon@nwi.com, (219) 933-3246 nwitimes.com

GARY | A Gary parent is seeking answers to why her son was injured Tuesday during an altercation with a resource officer at Lew Wallace STEM Academy.

Esmeralda Holman Hernandez said her 16-year-old son, Lonnie Holman Hernandez, was excessively hit by a resource office. Gary Community School Corp. said the officer did not hit the teen.

Gary police said the teen approached the resource officer and cursed at him about 12:30 p.m. while the officer was trying to get the teen's sister into the gym. The teen bumped the officer and continued to say profanities, police said.

The teen hit the officer who was trying to arrest him, which led to a struggle where both were injured, police said.

Lonnie Holman Hernandez was taken to the Lake County juvenile detention center on charges of disorderly conduct, resisting law enforcement and battery on a law enforcement officer.

Esmeralda Holman Hernandez and her son's account of what happened differ.

Lonnie Holman Hernandez said he was in the hallway because his younger brother told him a group was threatening to beat him up.

He said he heard a loud noise from the gym causing students to run out. He recalls an officer stopping his sister, and the officer telling them to get into the gym or he was going to arrest them.

Lonnie Holman Hernandez said he didn't want to go into the gym because of the noise. He said that's when the officer pulled his shirt and slammed him against a concession stand. He said at one point the officer punched him, causing him to fall to his knees.

Charmella Greer, spokeswoman for Gary schools, said the teen hit his head but didn't know on the type of object. Greer said to her knowledge, the officer did not hit the teen.

Greer said the officer is not facing discipline because the school did not think it was necessary. The school has six resources officers who are part of the Gary Police Department. 

Esmeralda Holman Hernandez said her children transferred in March to Lew Wallace after the family moved. She said she wants the officer to be held accountable for her son's injuries.

"If it happened to my children, it will happen to someone else's," she said.

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