She wasn’t injured, didn’t seek medical attention and didn’t even tell school officials about the incident. However, her friend did and Gerald was taken to the Second District Police Station, where he was held in a cell for 10 hours and charged with numerous crimes, including aggravated assault, a felony. Police identified the toy, which cost $2.59 at a corner store, as a BB gun and a “deadly weapon.” Gerald was taken to a juvenile facility, where he remained until a hearing on Friday.
According to Gerald’s mother, Tina Vasquez, the judge decided that if Gerald goes to school, continues to get good grades, completes 10 hours of community service, stays away from the girl involved in the incident and is in his house by 6 p.m. every night for the next three months, his case will be dismissed.
But Vasquez still doesn’t understand why Gerald was charged with a felony and held in custody for nearly two weeks.
As for Gerald, he’s nervous now, not the same, she said. While sitting on his couch in an orange Police Athletic League T-shirt Sunday, he tapped his feet rapidly and kept his hands busy with an unopened bag of sunflower seeds. His mother wants to take him to see a therapist.
He’s nervous to go back to the Carnell School Monday. Vasquez said there’s already a nasty false rumor being spread among the kids that Gerald was raped while he was in custody.
“I want to be home-schooled now,” Gerald said. “Because you don’t have any distractions or anything.”
Vasquez, a full-time SEPTA bus driver, hopes to transfer Gerald to another school but he’ll have to remain at Carnell for now. Gerald said he looks forward to high school, and more importantly, to college where he wants to get a “judge degree,” a teaching degree and a medical degree.
“Then, I’ll pick out of the three,” he said.
Meanwhile, despite his own nightmares, Vasquez said Gerald remains a good big brother. When Isaac woke up crying Saturday night, Gerald held him until he calmed down.
Gerald said he doesn’t hold any bad feelings toward Isaac or anyone involved in the incident.
“It was just a crazy situation,” he said.
Contact Stephanie Farr at 215-854-4225, email@example.com or on Twitter @FarFarrAway.