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Parents say there are problems at Mary Gibbard Park

Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 6:41 PM EDT
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Mishawaka, Ind. (WNDU) - A viewer reached out to us saying her son has been bullied at Mary Gibbard Park in Mishawaka and claims it has been an ongoing problem.

“Over the summer we’ve been having some issues with some kids showing up and bullying our children,” Amber Bentley says. She lives near Mary Gibbard Park.

Amber Bentley says the bullying there has been a big problem, and her son feels unsafe. A group of older kids allegedly showed her 10-year-old autistic son adult photos in addition to being bullies.

“The kids were showing him something on the phone, and they tend to play really inappropriate music and show people their phones, but there wasn’t any music playing,” Bentley says.

So her son ran back to her disturbed, and Amber is worried. Now, police say they have been on top of these incidents but wanted to set the record straight to fight what has been spreading online:

“”The Mishawaka Police Department investigated a Simple Assault that occurred at Mary Gibbard Park on September 19, 2021. The suspects in this case have been identified, all juveniles, and the report has been forwarded to the Juvenile Justice Center for charges. The Mishawaka Police Department has received calls to Mary Gibbard Park for juveniles fighting but responding officers are informed they left before the officers arrived on scene. The Police Department has not been contacted by victims of assault with serious injuries like broken noses or broken arms requesting a report. The fights are considered isolated to a small group of juveniles between 8 and 15 years of age who all know each other. After reviewing camera footage the last reported fight was captured on one of the park cameras and will be forwarded to the Juvenile Justice Center. The juveniles involved in the fight have been banned from Mishawaka Parks.

The Mishawaka Police Department is urging Citizens to call and report any suspicious activity including acts of violence, harassment and vandalism as they happen so our Officers can stop the individuals committing these offenses. If you are a victim of these offenses please file a police report so we can help you. If you see something say something.

Lt. Tim Williams

Public Information Officer

Mishawaka Police Department”

Police have turned those cases over to the Juvenile Justice Center, but make it clear that you need to report the incidents to police in order for them to act. The mother I spoke with has a message for parents.

“And think about not only what this is doing to our children but what this is going to lead to for your own children and I really hope that you can get through to them and make a difference for both of our children,” Bentley says.

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