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Skateboard attack leaves 14-year-old boy battered

  • Christopher J. Deschenes, 14, suffered several facial injuries after police said he was beaten in the face with a skateboard. PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRISTOPHER J. DESCHENES.

    Christopher J. Deschenes, 14, suffered several facial injuries after police said he was beaten in the face with a skateboard. PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRISTOPHER J. DESCHENES. Purchase photo reprints »

  • Christopher J. Deschenes, 14, suffered several facial injuries after police said he was beaten in the face with a skateboard. PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRISTOPHER J. DESCHENES.

    Christopher J. Deschenes, 14, suffered several facial injuries after police said he was beaten in the face with a skateboard. PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRISTOPHER J. DESCHENES. Purchase photo reprints »

  • Christopher J. Deschenes, 14, suffered several facial injuries after police said he was beaten in the face with a skateboard. PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRISTOPHER J. DESCHENES.
  • Christopher J. Deschenes, 14, suffered several facial injuries after police said he was beaten in the face with a skateboard. PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRISTOPHER J. DESCHENES.

On Thursday, a week after the incident, the victim’s mother tearfully listed the injuries Christopher J. Deschenes suffered: his nose, upper palate and cheekbone were broken and he lost five teeth and a piece of his jawbone.

Police arrested two teenagers May 2 and 3 on charges of aggravated assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in connection with the alleged attack.

Police said Deschenes was visiting a friend at Meadowbrook Apartments on Bridge Road May 2 when he got into a fistfight with a 13-year-old acquaintance. After the initial fight, his alleged attacker left and returned with a 15-year-old boy who held Deschenes’ arms behind his back while the 13-year-old struck him repeatedly in the face with his own skateboard, according to police.

Deschenes’ mother, Megan Darada of Ryan Road, said the attack has turned her family life upside down. She said it will be a long, slow road to recovery for her son.

She said that based on what doctors told her, Deschenes will need multiple surgeries now and may need additional dental surgeries in the years to come. “He’s going to be going through the effects of this until he’s at least 21,” she said.

Besides his physical injuries, he was traumatized and is now experiencing nightmares, Darada said. “He doesn’t want to go back to school,” she said.

She said he wasn’t up for speaking with a reporter Thursday but knew his mother was being interviewed.

Police said the alleged attackers’ cases are being handled in Franklin Hampshire Juvenile Court in Hadley. Their names were not released because they are juveniles.

Northampton Police Detective Lt. Kenneth Watson said the department frequently gets calls about “fisticuffs” between teenage boys, and sometimes there are “two-on-one” situations.

“But nothing like this,” he said Thursday. “I can’t recall anytime when someone was hit repeatedly hit in the face with an object while being held down.”

He said it is disappointing when a conflict among young people “gets to that point,” despite the efforts of school staff, friends and others to intervene to prevent violence.

“Now this kid is probably going to be scarred for life, and these other kids will probably have this on their records,” he said.

Darada said that on May 2 at about 4:30 p.m. she got a call from her son’s friend, who was with him at the Meadowbrook Apartments. “He said, ‘Christopher is gushing blood and you better get here quick,’” she recalled.

She was driving on Bridge Road near the entrance to the apartments when she saw her son lying by the side of the road with his head cradled by a woman who was asking him what happened. “He didn’t know,” she said.

The woman was an EMT who had been driving by when she saw a bloody and disoriented Deschenes walking on the side of the road, Darada said. She had stopped and told him to lie down until an ambulance arrived.

Both Deschenes and the 13-year-old were taken to Cooley Dickinson Hospital. The 13-year-old was arrested after he was treated for minor cuts and abrasions, Watson said. Darada said her son had been bullied at JFK Middle School by the 13-year-old, but police could not confirm that. Police said there had been “bad blood” between the two before the fight May 2.

A long recovery

After going to Cooley Dickinson Hospital, Deschenes was taken to Baystate Medical Center and stayed there until the next evening. Darada said her son had oral surgery to repair his palate hours after the incident May 2, and doctors were able to reattach one of his five lost teeth.

He was scheduled to see a facial surgeon Thursday because his face was too swollen after the fight for doctors to determine the extent of his injuries and how to repair his broken bones. He will also undergo optical and cognitive tests to make sure his vision and brain were not damaged.

Darada said doctors told her that if he receives dental implants to replace his missing teeth, the surgery will have to be redone every few years until he is at least 21 years old because he is still growing.

And while the family’s insurance has paid the medical bills so far, she said it won’t cover either dental implants or dentures for a 14-year-old. “We have to figure out what we’re going to do,” she said.

“It’s going to be a long process.”

Rebecca Everett can be reached at reverett@gazettenet.com.

Legacy Comments4

I am so sorry to hear this....my daughter goes to school with Chris...I can't believe this happened at JFK.

this makes me ill......absolutely ill....and these kids that can do such things probably want to now "get back at him" because they are getting punished.. this won't end for him....unless the parents themselves change....good luck with that as I hear that a mother was thee encouraging it...where are the charges against her?

The mother is the one most determined to "get back at him". Wonder how the kid turned out the way he did?

How awful for your son! I hope the kids who did this will spend lots of time in lock up - they have really serious problems. I wish your son a speedy recovery, both physically and mentally.

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