Carter English is the 6-year-old boy who suffered a heavy beating at his apartment complex in Olympia, Washington. He reportedly was defending a friend from bullies. Carter told his mother and police that when he asked the group of children to stop tormenting his friend, they turned their aggression on him.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Carter Said a Group of 7 Children Beat Him With Rocks and Sticks
The reported attack happened Wednesday, August 22 at Carter English’s apartment complex in Olympia, Washington. He told police that he saw a group of children harassing one of his friends, and stepped in to stop it. “They were just bullying him, like beating him up. I just told them to stop, and then they did it to me.”
Carter’s mother, Dana, described the injuries to local media outlet KOMO News. She says her 6-year-old son, who has autism, suffered an extensive beating. Carter was pounded with rocks and sticks. The group also reportedly rubbed sawdust into Carter’s face, causing severe damage to his left eye.
Dana was unaware of what had happened until she came home on her lunch break, around 5 p.m. that day. She found Carter sitting on the front steps covered in blood. Dana says she immediately rushed him to the emergency room. Dana said that Carter told her he was confused about why anyone would choose to hurt him, and that he had just been trying to help his friend.
2. Dana English Said the Damage to Carter’s Eye Was Severe to the Point That Doctors Feared He’d Lose Sight
Dana English said the assault left Carter with fractures in his arm, multiple hematomas to his head, and scratches all over his body. But the most immediate concern was the damage to his left eye. The 6-year-old had a deep laceration, and doctors had to scrape rocks and pieces of debris out of his eye.
The doctors expressed concern that Carter could lose sight in his left eye. He underwent surgery at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle early Friday, August 24th. Just getting there was a challenge; Dana posted on Facebook at 12:10 a.m. pleading for someone to drive her and Carter to the hospital. She shared in the comments that her stepfather was able to help. Luckily, Carter’s surgery was successful and the doctors say he could make a full recovery.
Dana English shared on Facebook on Monday, August 27 that an orthopedic surgeon decided that Carter needed surgery on his arm. She wrote that doctors planned to use wires and pins to fix the two fractures in his elbow. She also shared the photos above, showing Carter making funny faces before heading into surgery.
3. A Family Friend Started a GoFundMe Campaign to Help Dana English Pay for Medical Bills and Gasoline
A family friend started a GoFundMe campaign to help Dana English pay for Carter’s medical bills. The goal was set at $5,500. But the page has far exceeded that initial goal. Within three days, nearly 700 supporters had raised more than $21,000. The page describes Carter as a “very smart boy and loves video games, playing with his friends and being with his family.”
Dana English says she works three jobs to support her four children as a single parent. She thanked friends and strangers alike on Facebook for their support. “In this horrific situation when I have felt so lost and so alone so many people have come together from all over the world to help my little guy. I dont think I have any tears left to cry. But i want to thank each and every single person who has shared commented or prayed. Anything at all. Even just a thought of my boy makes my heart over flow with so much hope and love… As a single mom doing this all alone its been very hard. But you guys have helped in ways unspeakable.”
4. Police Are Not Pressing Criminal Charges Because of the Children’s Young Age but Social Services Will Reportedly Get Involved
Carter English told his mother and police that there were possibly seven children involved in the alleged attack. He said he would be able to recognize all of them, but only knew the name of one of the children involved. Carter said all of the children were close to his age.
Olympia Police identified a 5-year-old child they believe may have initiated the assault. KOMO News reports the case was presented to the prosecutor’s office. But the prosecutor is not planning to file any criminal charges due to the young age of the child. Officials say social services will be involved in the case going forward.
5. Carter Has Appeared to Keep a Smile on His Face and a Positive Attitude as He Recovers From His Injuries
Carter English is recovering from his injuries with a smile on his face. Mother Dana shared the above photo of Carter alongside his little sister Paisley. Carter had a sling on his arm and the cuts on his face are prominent. But he’s smiling for the camera.
Earlier that day, Dana shared, “Carter is doing way better than I could have ever imagined. He is not complaining of any pain or anything. He just wanted his big brother tj to hang out with him.”
In the aftermath of the alleged bully attack and his surgeries, Carter already has options for what to do after he recovers. A local Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor offered Carter one year of free classes. The offer was made on Facebook; Dana had not yet publicly responded to the invitation.