Friday, May 11, 2007

Accident or Deadly Assault?

Manny Castillo, 15 years old, on life support and not expected to live from injuries suffered in a School Rugby match. A 16 year- old- boy (can not be identified under the Juvenile Justice Act) is charged of assault and maybe upgraded in the event of Manny's death.

The family of 15 year- old- boy , lying brain dead at the Sick Kids and is not expected to live from injuries suffered in a Rugby Match, is urging the Peel Police not to charge the opponent for assault causing injury and may be upgraded if and when the boy is taken off the life support.

The family already announced that they are donating the boy’s organs.

Manny Castillo, immigrated from Mexico with his family as 12 year- old- boy.
Manny is a star athlete at Lorne Park Secondary School in Mississauga, a forward for the school's Spartans rugby team and captain of the defense line for the football team, on which he plays linebacker.

In the last few seconds of a rugby game Wednesday against the Erindale Raiders, he and an opposing 16-year-old were seen grappling together.

Manny was left on the ground with critical head injuries. Last night he remained on life support at the Hospital for Sick Children with his chances of survival rated zero.

Peel Regional police have charged the opposition player with aggravated assault, charges that could be upgraded in the event of Manny's death.

The player cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice ACT.

The family is unanimous of not pressing charges.

But Peel Police said that their investigation led them to believe the altercation that resulted in injury was not part of the Game and they still are investigating for the motives.

Please note, that in Criminal cases the victims or families of the victims are not the parties to decide if criminal charges are to be laid, but the Police authorities based on evidence as a result of their investigations.

A coroner's report in the event of Manny's death may well decide the final decision of the of the police authorities.

Even in Professional sports, where violence is a part of the game, like the game of hockey, unprovoked and malicious intent to injure could also result in police laying charges.

Update: Manny Castillo has died of his injuries. Taken off life support this morning (12:00PM. May 11, 2007, Live T.V. broadcast). No news from Peel Police if they are upgrading the charges yet. The family is still firm on its decision urging the authorities not to press charges.

More of the stories go the Toronto Star:

A rare tragedy

Teenage sporting deaths remain extremely rare. Manny Castillo's life-threatening injuries at Lorne Park Secondary School recall earlier tragedies.

Feb. 23, 2007: Kyle Lamb, 13, dies while attempting a back flip off a snowboard jump in Caesarea, on Lake Scugog Feb. 12, 2007: Nicolas Lambden, 10, of Guelph, dies after being hit in the head with a puck during an outdoor shinny game.

Dec. 26, 2006: Alex Corrance, 17, a defenceman for the Mississauga Rebels, dies during the opening period of an east Toronto tournament. The coroner rules an underlying, undetected cardiac problem to be the cause of death.

May 2006: Harbord Collegiate student Frankie Chu, 18, collapses on the field during the league rugby opener. He dies a short time later.

Feb. 17, 1992: Skier Wendy Buda, 13, dies after what her family calls a "fluke" accident at Blue Mountain Ski Resort. She sustains serious head injuries while hitting a stand of trees during a Southern Ontario Juvenile Championship race.

Aug. 12, 1987: A 12-year-old Scarborough boy collapses and dies playing soccer on Midland Avenue Collegiate Institute grounds. Police say Kenneth Georgiopoulos may have died of a congenital heart defect that had gone undetected.

Compiled by Kathleen Power, Star Library:

Update: May 13: Peel Police Charged the 16-year-old from the opposing team for aggravated assault and was released to the custody of his Parents. The charge may be Up to manslaughter, but not until the investigation is completed.

Update: May 14: Toronto Star

Bereaved parents tell the Star that police should drop charges against other teen: `This is about what we really feel inside'

This is not about religion, this is about what we really feel inside," Manuel Castillo of Mississauga said quietly yesterday when asked why he might feel so forgiving toward a player making fatal contact with his 15-year-old, also named Manuel and called "Manny" by his friends.

"(The opposing player) didn't take a weapon and try to fire at my son," the father said.
"He didn't take a gun or a knife and try to kill him, absolutely not. To me, it is a terrible accident. In sports, accidents happen."

Asked if his son had any known medical condition that could have been a factor in the death, Castillo said he preferred to say nothing more abut the injury

He praised Peel regional police for their professionalism and support, and said police are prepared to interview him formally when he feels ready.

Investigation is still ongoing...