Mother worries about kids safety; claims parents should "step up" - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Mother worries about kids safety; claims parents should "step up"

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -- A Waterloo teen is recovering from a brain injury after a fight at a local mall. Police said the assault happened Sunday afternoon at an entrance to Crossroads Mall. They were called to Covenant Hospital about an hour later. Doctors were in the process of treating 13 year-old Malik Guzzle for non-life threatening injuries.

His mother, Amanda Guzzle said Malik has short term memory loss, and is not acting like himself. Her biggest fear is it will happen again.

"I just wonder when this is all going to stop, why it's not safe for our kids to go to the mall, or anywhere anymore?" asked Guzzle.

Guzzle claims her son, Malik, was hanging out at the mall with a couple of friends when a large group of teens started making fun of his clothes.

"They said it was because he was a white boy, and he wasn't Mexican," she said.

Guzzle admitted her son agreed to fight at least one kid outside, but said Malik was not expecting to face weapons.

"When the fight was over Malik turned around, was done, and walked away, and the boy reaches in his pockets and pulled out brass knuckles and jumps him from behind," she explained.

Malik spent two nights in an Iowa City hospital, recovering from bleeding in his brain.

"I was so scared, I'm still scared because I don't know what could happen to him," said Guzzle.

Guzzle is afraid the same group of kids will retaliate. Malik is meeting with investigators this week, but so far, police have not arrested anyone.

"Right now it appears just these two boys got into a fight, and we need to figure out exactly what happened," said Waterloo Police Captain TIm Pillack.

Guzzle said an arrest would help put her at ease. But she doesn't think it will put an end to the violence.

"I would feel more happy if the parents would step up and take control of what their kids are doing to other kids out there. I don't ever want another parent to feel how I felt," she noted.

You might be wondering about Guzzle's responsibility for her son's actions - he did after all agree to fight. She said she always taught him to defend himself.

Waterloo police are asking any witnesses to Sunday's fight to give them a call. They do not believe this is gang related.

Online Reporter Colleen O'Shaughnessy

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