Sitting on the living room sofa, his eyes fixed on his hands or his phone, Jason
(the name has been changed)
struggles to recount what happened to him.
The 15-year-old does not want to go back to this November day when he was violently assaulted.
If he testifies, it is, he says, to please his mother.
He prefers to forget.
Forgetting is what his brain did for several days after the attack.
Before part of this morning comes back to him.
That day, he was going with two friends to his school in Essonne.
On the road, he passes several buildings.
Young people come out of a hall.
Jason and his friends sense the threat and decide to flee.
Two go on one side, he on the other.
A kick to the head
“I ran, but they caught up with me,” he says in a barely audible voice.
They put me on the ground and started hitting me.
Afterwards I lost consciousness.
This does not stop his attackers who beat him up before undressing him.
On one of the videos filmed at the time of the facts and posted on social networks, we see Jason, unconscious, lying on the ground on his stomach.
Around him, a young man insults him by kicking him in the head, while another takes off his pants.
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It is a man walking his dog who finds Jason unconscious and calls the police.
His parents arrive on the scene.
“He was already with the firefighters, still unconscious, remembers his mother, Martine
(the name has been changed),
who cannot hold back her tears.
His head was full of blood.
When his father saw him in this condition, he started to cry.
It was the first time I saw him like this.
Jason is rushed to the hospital.
He will stay there for three days.
The teenager suffers from a head trauma, a two-centimeter wound in the arch and multiple bruises.
“He was hit with a hammer and a baseball bat.
A few pieces of wood remained in her ear, which were removed by the doctors, ”her mother continues.
"I was just there in the wrong place, at the wrong time"
This is when Jason regains consciousness for the first time.
“I didn't understand what was going on.
I didn't understand what I was doing there.
I thought it was morning and I had to go to high school, he rewinds.
I screamed and the doctors asked me not to move.
Afterwards I fell asleep again.
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Once back home, Martine no longer recognizes her son.
He is elsewhere.
He confuses his shower gel with a household product.
Most importantly, he's no longer the independent teenager he used to be.
“The first few days, I was the one who made him take his shower, who gave him food.
He even let me look on his cell phone, which was unimaginable before.
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The family has filed a complaint and anxiously awaits their attackers to be arrested.
For her, there is no doubt, it is the young people of the neighboring town who attacked him.
For many years, sometimes for no real reason, groups have clashed violently in front of schools.
But Martine is categorical: her son is not part of a gang.
Beside her, Jason confirms, “I was just there in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I didn't know them, I had just seen a few hanging around.
I know they are from the next town.
I knew it had happened before, I had seen videos circulating.
But I did not feel in danger, I had not imagined that it could fall on me.
He resumed lessons in January
Jason returned to high school in January.
Unthinkable for him to change establishment and leave his friends.
But he no longer takes the same path.
The memory is too painful.
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Without much conviction, Jason claims to have turned the page.
“For me, this is a thing of the past, I don't want to talk about it anymore, to anyone, not even to my friends.
That they are arrested will not change anything.
I don't want to think about it anymore.
His mother is demanding justice.
In the meantime, she saw fear in her stomach.
“When he doesn't answer me, I'm too bad.
I imagine the worst.
(Editor's note: principal education advisor)
of his high school is very present for us.
She calls me often to tell me that he has arrived well, that he is fine.
But I always need to be reassured.
He is reduced to sending me messages to let me know that it is in progress and that he cannot reply to me.
But you have to understand me, they almost killed my son.
I thought I lost him.