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Long Beach Fifth-Grader Dies After Fight Over Boy

This case is a true tragedy, for everyone involved, and will need a very delicate hand from law enforcement and legal representation alike. Our sympathy goes out to the girl’s mother, Cecilia Villanueva.

Yesterday, two girls from Willard Elementary School allegedly got into a fight over a boy in an alleyway off Anaheim Street in Long Beach. Law enforcement officers say that the fight lasted less than a minute and that no weapons were used, yet officials also say that Joanna Ramos, one of the two fighting girls, suffered blunt-force trauma to the head.

Ramos was reported to have felt ill after the fight and was taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center for treatment, where Dr. Mauricio Heilbron Jr. attempted to save her. In a column he wrote for the Press-Telegram, Heilbron wrote that her eyes were “fixed and dilated…like the lifeless eyes of a little child’s doll.” Heilbron sums up the situation well when he wrote “Basically this is a nightmare situation where an apparently trivial injury caused a devastating outcome.”

Reports say that some children prevented others from stopping the fight. Law enforcement sources say that they will interview students, teachers and parents, but since the fight happened off school grounds, who knows what real information they will be able to uncover about the actual incident. They will also check into Ramos’ medical history to see if the altercation with the other student aggravated an existing condition.

No arrests have been made yet, although the coroner has deemed this a homicide. The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office has not released much about the case except for the fact that no case has been officially brought to them and that the police investigation is “ongoing”-no real news there. They have also refused to discuss Ramos’ injuries or any criminal charges that her adversary could face if indeed a case is brought before them.

And who would be charged in this case? The other child, who actually did the fighting? Or the children who refused to let anyone intervene? In looking at the Kelly Thomas case, the officer who did the actual beating received a lesser sentence than the officer who orchestrated the whole event. Which begs the question: Would Ramos’ attacker have kept hitting her if she hadn’t been encouraged by others? Would Ramos still be alive?

Who do you think should be guilty in this case? No one, as it was just a terrible, tragic accident? Or should Ramos’ adversary face charges? What about the students who prevented Ramos from getting help? Please let us know how you feel about the death of this 10-year-old girl in the comments section below.

At the Law Offices of Glew & Kim, we see all clients as innocent until proven guilty, and believe in equal justice for all. If you or someone you know has been involved in a crime and needs honest, unbiased defense, please call us immediately on 714-713-4525 or use our online form for a free case analysis.