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11-Year-Old Girl Facing Felony Charge


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Deal Reached in Rock Throwing Case

 

 -- Her arrest for throwing a rock at a boy drew international

attention. Now, a deal in court will keep an 11-year-old Fresno girl from serving any time.

 

It was a case that had the potential for a big battle in court after 11-year-old

 Maribel Cuevas was arrested for throwing a rock and injuring a little boy.

But, little Maribel Cuevas won't be going to jail and her story continues to have

 Fresno and its police department under scrutiny.

The shy 11-year-old received a hero's welcome when she arrived at juvenile hall

 on Wednesday. Bus loads of supporters came from Southern California and the

 Bay Area, urged to drive to Fresno by a nationally syndicated Latino radio host.

The crowd included children wearing orange to symbolize jail jumpsuits in protest

 of Maribel's arrest.

Maribel was facing felony assault charges for hitting a boy with a rock, who may

 have been among a group of boys throwing rocks and water balloons at her. He

suffered a cut to his face and police arrested Maribel.

She spent five days in juvenile hall and could have been locked up again. But there

 will be no orange jumpsuits for Maribel, the judge decided the case should be settled

between her and the boy.

"It involved a reconciliation process between her and Eljah Vang, so they can shake

 hands, apologize and move on with their lives," said defense attorney Richard Beshwate.

Maribel's father says he feels good because justice was served.

The Fresno Police Department's arrest and detention of the 11-year-old girl attracted

 worldwide attention and landed a mention on late night American TV.

Despite the publicity, Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer says he's pleased with the

outcome, "I think there's a tremendous lesson learned by the suspect, perhaps by

 the victim and by all of us in terms of how these types of incidents can escalate

 into something nobody anticipates."

Chief Dyer still defends the officers actions as being justified.

Maribel Cuevas will be on informal probation. Her case will be reviewed in three months

and will then likely be closed.

 

 

11-Year-Old Girl Facing Felony Charge

 

Her family says she's just eleven years old and she was defending herself.

But, police say she threw a rock at a boy and needs to be punished.

 

The young girl's family says she was held for days without ever being told why. But, the police

department says the young girl broke the law and they did not overreact.

The girl and the boy were in court on Wednesday, but there's still no resolution.

It's been a bizarre three months for 11-year-old Maribel Cuevas. The little girl faces a felony

assault charge for throwing a rock at a boy.

It happened in a Fresno neighborhood in April. The family says boys on bicycles were throwing

waterballoons and rocks at Maribel and her sister. Maribel threw a rock back, hitting a boy in the head.

They called an ambulance, but witnesses say police came too, with three patrol cars and a helicopter.

Police then took Maribel to Juvenile Hall, where the family says she was held for six days with no explanation.

"What we have here is an effort by law enforcement and or the D.A.'s office to essentially criminalize

childhood behavior," says the family's attorney, Richard Beshwate, Jr.

At one point, Maribel had to wear an ankle monitor during a month on house arrest.

The boy's family hasn't pushed for prosecution, but the father has said his son was only playing with

 water balloons and not rocks.

Attorney Richard Beshwate, Jr. says police went too far, "I think it's a bit of a political case, based

on the conduct of the officers. They roughed up my client pretty well after the event, they made

 assumptions, wrote reports that were incorrect."

But, Fresno Police have a much different story. Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer showed the rock

 police say was thrown at the boy. He says it left a four inch gash and the officers were justified

charging the girl with a felony.

The girl's family and police seem to disagree on almost every detail of this case.

Police say the girl was 13-years-old and the victim, 6-years-old. The family says she's only

11-years-old and he's 9-years-old.

They also insist she was held in juvenile hall for six days. Police first said it was one day,

 but now say it was five.

And while the family's lawyer says the boy wasn't seriously hurt, police say he was.

 

Calif. Girl Faces Felony Assault Charge


Friday July 15, 2005 11:46 PM

FRESNO, Calif.  - An 11-year old girl faces felony assault charges after seeking emergency

 help for a boy whom she says she accidentally injured after he bullied her with water balloons.

Maribel Cuevas was arrested, handcuffed and taken by police to juvenile hall, where she

 spent five days with only minimal contact with her parents.

Her family says Maribel meant no harm when she accidentally hit the Elijah Vang, the 9-year-old

neighborhood boy, in the forehead with a rock. They say she was simply defending herself after

Vang and several other boys pummeled her with water balloons outside her home in a poor Fresno

 neighborhood in April. Vang's family isn't pressing charges and has since moved away.

Police contend Maribel was the main suspect in a felony assault and they treated her appropriately.

``We responded. We determined a felony assault had taken place and the officers took the actions that

were necessary,'' said Fresno Police Sgt. Anthony Martinez.

No matter the boy admitted to officers he started the fight and was quickly released from the hospital

 after getting his head stitched up. No matter the girl herself ran for help.

``She's 11 ... they're treating her like she's a violent parole offender,'' said Robert Beshwate, Jr.,

 Maribel's lawyer.

Maribel, who speaks limited English, spent five days in juvenile hall with just one half-hour visit from

 her parents. She then spent about 30 days under house arrest, forced to wear a GPS ankle bracelet to

monitor her whereabouts. She's charged with assault with a deadly weapon and is due in court Aug. 3.

Officers said their response was not excessive, and was not motivated by the low-income, largely

minority neighborhood.

``We arrested the main suspect,'' Martinez said. ``It was the appropriate response.''

Assistant Fresno County District Attorney Bob Ellis said he couldn't comment on the case because it

involves children.

Maribel's family said the soft-spoken girl, who turned 11 in March, is terrified. She's a good student

who struggles sometimes because English is her second language, but in a neighborhood where kids

grow up fast, she keeps close to home, helping her mother take care of her four younger siblings.

 Maribel attends school with Elijah, and says she's been taunted by him in the past.

With help from their church, the family hired Beshwate to represent Maribel at her upcoming trial.

The attorney says prosecutors aren't interested in a deal.

Maribel says she was playing on the sidewalk with her 6-year-old brother and other younger children

 on April 29, when the boys rode by on their bikes.

They started teasing her, calling her names and hitting her with water balloons, she said, holding

 her 1-year-old brother in her lap in her family's modest living room, where a couch and dining table

 share space with a crib and a bed.

When the boys refused to leave, Maribel threw a rock at them, hitting Elijah.

The aunt of one of Maribel's playmates saw the boy's forehead was cut. She got him a towel to stop

 the bleeding, and called 911, the family said.

Maribel ran to the boy's house, two blocks from her own, to tell his parents she was sorry, she said.

Police responded to the call ready to tackle a hardened criminal.

The officers ``grabbed me from behind, by my shirt'' the girl said in Spanish. ``I was so scared. ...

 I didn't know what they were doing.''

Maribel panicked. The officers had the slight girl down on the ground, and one of them put his knee

 to her back to restrain her, her mother said in Spanish.

Guadalupe Cuevas couldn't communicate with the officers, because she doesn't speak English, and

 was pushed away when she tried to reach her daughter.

Maribel was crying, the police report said, but Officer Christopher Green, who handcuffed her, wrote,

 ``We were able to get Cuevas into the back of the patrol vehicle.''

Guadalupe Cuevas said didn't understand what was happening.

``The officer was just saying, 'I don't care, I don't care,''' Guadalupe Cuevas said in Spanish. ``He told

 my nephew he didn't speak his kind of English.''

None of the responding officers spoke Spanish, and none who did were called to communicate with

 the family before the girl was taken to juvenile hall. The police report said Green read Maribel her

Miranda rights twice, in English.

The report also lists the girl's emotional state as ``apologetic'' and ``hysterical.''

Maribel's mother and her father, Martin, were able to see their daughter for half an hour the day

after the incident. The girl's wrists were bruised, her mother said, and she was scared.

Maribel was kept in juvenile hall without seeing her parents again for five nights. When she was

released, she had to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet that kept her under house arrest.

She was only able to leave the family's tiny, cluttered home to go to school, but the thought she

 might not make it home on time, violating her 3 p.m. curfew, terrified her. Arrangements had to

 be made with her teachers so she could leave class early, her mother said.

Guadalupe Cuevas said watching the other children play outside depressed Maribel, and the child

went for periods of not wanting to eat, and not sleeping well.

This is a case where the police department ``overreacted and won't back down,'' Beshwate said.

 ``I don't know if they don't like Spanish speakers, if it's racism, or if they were having a bad day.

 But how can you defend this kind of behavior?''

 

Calif. Girl Faces Felony Assault Charge


Saturday July 16, 2005 3:16 AM

FRESNO, Calif. - An 11-year-old girl who threw a rock to defend herself as neighborhood boys

pelted her with water balloons is being prosecuted on a felony charge of assault with a deadly weapon.

Maribel Cuevas says she didn't mean to hurt the 9-year-old boy - who acknowledged to officers

 that he started the fight in late April. He was released from the hospital after getting his head stitched up.

Maribel already has spent five days in juvenile hall with one half-hour visit from her parents. She

 then spent 30 days under house arrest, wearing a GPS ankle bracelet to monitor her whereabouts

 and is now due back in court early next month.

``They're treating her like she's a violent parole offender,'' said her lawyer, Richard Beshwate, Jr.

Assistant Fresno County District Attorney Bob Ellis said he couldn't comment on the case because

it involves children.

Police sent three squad cars and a helicopter in response to a 911 call. But authorities deny that

their response was influenced by the setting - a low-income, largely minority neighborhood -

or by language difficulties. Maribel's first language is Spanish and she and her family members

 speak limited English.

``We responded. We determined a felony assault had taken place and the officers took the actions

 that were necessary,'' said Fresno Police Sgt. Anthony Martinez.

The police report said an officer read Maribel her Miranda rights twice, in English. The 11-year-old

said the officers grabbed her by her shirt from behind.

``I was so scared,'' she said in Spanish. ``I didn't know what they were doing.''

 

   

 

FRESNO, Calif. --An 11-year-old girl who threw a rock to defend herself

as neighborhood boys pelted

her with water balloons is being

 

prosecuted on a felony charge of assault with a deadly weapon.

Maribel Cuevas says she didn't mean to hurt the 9-year-old boy -- who acknowledged to officers that

 he started the fight in late April. He was released from the hospital after getting his head stitched up.

Maribel already has spent five days in juvenile hall with one half-hour visit from her parents. She then

 spent 30 days under house arrest, wearing a GPS ankle bracelet to monitor her whereabouts and is now

due back in court early next month.

"They're treating her like she's a violent parole offender," said her lawyer, Richard Beshwate, Jr.

Assistant Fresno County District Attorney Bob Ellis said he couldn't comment on the case because it

involves children.

Police sent three squad cars and a helicopter in response to a 911 call. But authorities deny that their

 response was influenced by the setting -- a low-income, largely minority neighborhood -- or by language

difficulties. Maribel's first language is Spanish and she and her family members speak limited English.

"We responded. We determined a felony assault had taken place and the officers took the actions that

 were necessary," said Fresno Police Sgt. Anthony Martinez.

The police report said an officer read Maribel her Miranda rights twice, in English. The 11-year-old said

the officers grabbed her by her shirt from behind.

"I was so scared," she said in Spanish. "I didn't know what they were doing."

 

An 11-year-old girl who threw a stone at a group of 

boys pelting her with water balloons is being prosecuted

 on serious assault charges in California.

Maribel Cuevas was arrested in April in a police operation which involved three police

 cars and a helicopter.

She has since spent five days in detention, in which she was granted one 30 minute

visit by her parents, and has spent a month under house arrest.

Her lawyer accuses the authorities of criminalising childhood behaviour.

"They're treating her like a violent parole offender," Richard Beshwate said. "It's not

a felony, it's an 11-year-old acting like an 11-year-old."

The girl is due back in court at the beginning of next month.

Police say they had to investigate as the boy who was hit by the stone she threw suffered

a deep gash to his head and needed hospital treatment.

He has reportedly acknowledged to officers that he started the fight in late April.

'Obligation'

The confrontation happened in a poor district of Fresno, in central California, where Maribel

 Cuevas lives with her Spanish-speaking family.

The girl, who speaks little English, has admitted throwing a stone at a group of boys she says

were pestering her with water balloons as she walked down the street.

An ambulance was called, but arrived flanked by three police patrol vehicles. A helicopter

meanwhile hovered overhead.

The 11-year-old was then read her rights twice in English before being detained.

"We responded. We determined a felony assault had taken place and the officers took the

actions that were necessary," said Fresno Police Sergeant Anthony Martinez.

Another police officer told ABC News that the girl, when asked what she thought would

happen if she threw the stone, replied that it would make him "bleed".

 

Calif. Girl Faces Felony Assault Charge


Friday, July 15, 2005; 10:10 PM

FRESNO, Calif. -- An 11-year-old girl who threw a rock to defend herself as

 neighborhood boys pelted her with water balloons is being prosecuted on a

 felony charge of assault with a deadly weapon.

Maribel Cuevas says she didn't mean to hurt the 9-year-old boy _ who acknowledged

 to officers that he started the fight in late April. He was released from the hospital

 after getting his head stitched up.

Maribel already has spent five days in juvenile hall with one half-hour visit from her

 parents. She then spent 30 days under house arrest, wearing a GPS ankle bracelet to

 monitor her whereabouts and is now due back in court early next month.

"They're treating her like she's a violent parole offender," said her lawyer, Richard Beshwate, Jr.

Assistant Fresno County District Attorney Bob Ellis said he couldn't comment on the case

because it involves children.

Police sent three squad cars and a helicopter in response to a 911 call. But authorities

 deny that their response was influenced by the setting _ a low-income, largely minority

 neighborhood _ or by language difficulties. Maribel's first language is Spanish and she

and her family members speak limited English.

"We responded. We determined a felony assault had taken place and the officers took

the actions that were necessary," said Fresno Police Sgt. Anthony Martinez.

The police report said an officer read Maribel her Miranda rights twice, in English.

 The 11-year-old said the officers grabbed her by her shirt from behind.

"I was so scared," she said in Spanish. "I didn't know what they were doing."

 

FRESNO, Calif. - An 11-year old girl faces felony assault charges after seeking emergency

 help for a boy whom she says she accidentally injured after he bullied her with water balloons.

Maribel Cuevas was arrested, handcuffed and taken by police to juvenile hall, where she

spent five days with only minimal contact with her parents.

Her family says Maribel meant no harm when she accidentally hit Elijah Vang, the 9-year-old

neighborhood boy, in the forehead with a rock. They say she was simply defending herself after

Vang and several other boys pummeled her with water balloons outside her home in a poor Fresno

 neighborhood in April. Vang's family isn't pressing charges and has since moved away.

Police contend Maribel was the main suspect in a felony assault and they treated her appropriately.

"We responded. We determined a felony assault had taken place and the officers took the actions

that were necessary," said Fresno Police Sgt. Anthony Martinez.

No matter the boy admitted to officers he started the fight and was quickly released from the

 hospital after getting his head stitched up. No matter the girl herself ran for help.

"She's 11 ... they're treating her like she's a violent parole offender," said Richard Beshwate, Jr.,

 Maribel's lawyer.

Maribel, who speaks limited English, spent five days in juvenile hall with just one half-hour visit

 from her parents. She then spent about 30 days under house arrest, forced to wear a GPS ankle

bracelet to monitor her whereabouts. She's charged with assault with a deadly weapon and is

due in court Aug. 3.

Officers said their response was not excessive, and was not motivated by the low-income,

 largely minority neighborhood.

"We arrested the main suspect," Martinez said. "It was the appropriate response."

Assistant Fresno County District Attorney Bob Ellis said he couldn't comment on the case

 because it involves children.

Maribel's family said the soft-spoken girl, who turned 11 in March, is terrified. She's a good

 student who struggles sometimes because English is her second language, but in a neighborhood

 where kids grow up fast, she keeps close to home, helping her mother take care of her four younger

 siblings. Maribel attends school with Elijah, and says she's been taunted by him in the past.

With help from their church, the family hired Beshwate to represent Maribel at her upcoming

 trial. The attorney says prosecutors aren't interested in a deal.

Maribel says she was playing on the sidewalk with her 6-year-old brother and other younger

 children on April 29, when the boys rode by on their bikes.

They started teasing her, calling her names and hitting her with water balloons, she said, holding

her 1-year-old brother in her lap in her family's modest living room, where a couch and dining table

 share space with a crib and a bed.

When the boys refused to leave, Maribel threw a rock at them, hitting Elijah.

The aunt of one of Maribel's playmates saw the boy's forehead was cut. She got him a towel to stop

 the bleeding, and called 911, the family said.

Maribel ran to the boy's house, two blocks from her own, to tell his parents she was sorry, she said.

Police responded to the call ready to tackle a hardened criminal.

The officers "grabbed me from behind, by my shirt" the girl said in Spanish. "I was so scared. ...

 I didn't know what they were doing."

Maribel panicked. The officers had the slight girl down on the ground, and one of them put his knee

 to her back to restrain her, her mother said in Spanish.

Guadalupe Cuevas couldn't communicate with the officers, because she doesn't speak English, and

was pushed away when she tried to reach her daughter.

Maribel was crying, the police report said, but Officer Christopher Green, who handcuffed her,

 wrote, "We were able to get Cuevas into the back of the patrol vehicle."

Guadalupe Cuevas said didn't understand what was happening.

"The officer was just saying, 'I don't care, I don't care,'" Guadalupe Cuevas said in Spanish.

"He told my nephew he didn't speak his kind of English."

None of the responding officers spoke Spanish, and none who did were called to communicate

with the family before the girl was taken to juvenile hall. The police report said Green read Maribel

 her Miranda rights twice, in English.

The report also lists the girl's emotional state as "apologetic" and "hysterical."

Maribel's mother and her father, Martin, were able to see their daughter for half an hour the day after

the incident. The girl's wrists were bruised, her mother said, and she was scared.

Maribel was kept in juvenile hall without seeing her parents again for five nights. When she was

released, she had to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet that kept her under house arrest.

She was only able to leave the family's tiny, cluttered home to go to school, but the thought she

might not make it home on time, violating her 3 p.m. curfew, terrified her. Arrangements had to be

made with her teachers so she could leave class early, her mother said.

Guadalupe Cuevas said watching the other children play outside depressed Maribel, and the child

went for periods of not wanting to eat, and not sleeping well.

This is a case where the police department "overreacted and won't back down," Beshwate said. "I

don't know if they don't like Spanish speakers, if it's racism, or if they were having a bad day. But

how can you defend this kind of behavior?"

HERE ARE MORN WEB SITE'S THAT RAN THIS STORY TOO

 

ABC30 OF FRESNO   http://abclocal.go.com/kfsn/news/071305_nw_girl_charges.html

 

YAHOO INTERNET NEWS    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050715/ap_on_re_us/little_girl_assault

 

NEWS PAPER WEB SITE FROM BAY AREA SFGATE  

 

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/news/archive/2005/07/15/national/a154213D52.DTL

 

WEB SITE PHILLYBURBS   http://www.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/1-07152005-515067.html

 

NEWS PAPER FROM BOSTON

 

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2005/07/15/calif_girl_faces_felony_assault_charge/?page=2

 

BBC NEWS WEB SITE FROM THE UK AREA   http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4689459.stm

 

MORN WEB SITE'S ALL ABOUT

 THIS STORY FROM FRESNO

 http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3348967a12,00.html

 http://www.freemaribel.org/

 http://heliolith.com/

 http://www.ioerror.us/2005/07/18/is-it-illegal-to-defend-yourself-now/

 http://blog.lawinfo.com/2005/07/15/california-girl-faces-felony-assault-charge/

 http://www.officer.com/article/article.jsp?siteSection=1&id=24796

 http://www.heraldtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050716/APN/507160575

 http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/state/20050716-0006-ca-littlegirlassault.html

 http://www.islandpacket.com/24hour/nation/story/2561215p-10971981c.html

 http://www.cracklog.com/pint-size_rock_chucker_charged_with_felony

 http://www.freemaribel.org/

 http://www.freemaribel.org/act.php

 http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/apus_story.asp?category=1110&slug=Little%20Girl%20Assault

 http://www.makestupidityhistory.org/2005/07/18/girl-charged-with-assault-for-defending-herself-from-bullies/

 http://www.dailystar.com/dailystar/news/84407.php

 http://www.indybay.org/news/2005/07/1753727.php

 http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2005/07/15/state/n125834D98.DTL

 http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/news/nat_world/071605_APnat_rockcharge.html

 http://www.makestupidityhistory.org/2005/07/18/girl-charged-with-assault-for-defending-herself-from-bullies/

 http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/7242_1432545,00180008.htm

 http://nograyarea.mindsay.com/

 http://www.kiontv.com/news/state/story.aspx?content_id=E93DCEA5-1D89-46EE-9FAF-AA4B8AE5BB24

 http://customwire.ap.org/dynamic/files/photos/C/CAGK10407152052.html?SITE=HIHAD&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

 http://edmsun.canoe.ca/News/World/2005/07/16/1134395-sun.html

 http://www.siste.no/utenriks/international_news/article1666990.ece

 http://news.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=1638592005

 http://www.tirol.com/chronik/international/15272/index.do

 http://www.krone.at/index.php?http://wcm.krone.at/krone/C00/S25/A7/object_id__32988/hxcms/

FRESNO, Calif. - Police apparently came prepared for gang warfare when they sent three

squad cars and a helicopter in response to a 911 call. Instead, they found an 11-year-old girl

who had thrown a rock to defend herself as neighborhood boys pelted her with water balloons.

Little Maribel Cuevas says she didn't mean to hurt the boy - who admitted to officers that he

started the fight and was quickly released from the hospital after getting his head stitched up.

But police insist she's a criminal - she's being prosecuted on a felony charge of assault with

a deadly weapon. "We responded. We determined a felony assault had taken place and the

 officers took the actions that were necessary," said Fresno Police Sgt. Anthony Martinez.

Her family says Maribel was simply defending herself when 9-year-old Elijah Vang and

 several other boys pummeled her with water balloons outside her home in a poor Fresno

 neighborhood in April. They say she quickly sought help and tried to apologize to the boy

and his family. The Vangs have since moved away.

"She's 11 ... they're treating her like she's a violent parole offender," said Richard Beshwate

, Jr., Maribel's lawyer.

Maribel, who speaks limited English, spent five days in juvenile hall with just one half-hour

visit from her parents. She then spent about 30 days under house arrest, forced to wear a GPS

ankle bracelet to monitor her whereabouts. She's due in court Aug. 3.

Officers denied that their response was influenced by the setting - a low-income, largely minority

neighborhood - or language difficulties - Maribel's family speaks limited English, and the

 responding don't speak Spanish.

With help from their church, the family hired Beshwate to represent Maribel at her upcoming

trial. The lawyer says prosecutors aren't interested in a deal. Assistant Fresno County District

Attorney Bob Ellis said he couldn't comment on the case because it involves children.

Maribel's family said the soft-spoken girl, who turned 11 in March, remains terrified - she's a

good student who struggles sometimes because English is her second language, but in a

neighborhood where kids grow up fast, she keeps close to home, helping her mother take care of

her four younger siblings. Maribel attends school with the boy, and says she's been taunted by

 him in the past.

She says was playing on the sidewalk with her 6-year-old brother and other younger children on

April 29, when the boys rode by on their bikes. They started teasing her, calling her names

and hitting her with water balloons, she said, holding her 1-year-old brother in her lap in her family's

 modest living room, where a couch and dining table share space with a crib and a bed.

When the boys refused to leave, Maribel threw a rock at them, hitting Elijah.

The aunt of one of Maribel's playmates saw the boy's forehead was cut, got him a towel to stop

the bleeding and called 911, the family said.

Maribel ran to the boy's house, two blocks from her own, to tell his parents she was sorry, she said.

Police responded to the call ready to tackle a hardened criminal.

The officers "grabbed me from behind, by my shirt" the girl said in Spanish. "I was so scared. ...

 I didn't know what they were doing."

Maribel panicked. The officers had the slight girl down on the ground, and one of them put his

knee to her back to restrain her, her mother said in Spanish.

Guadalupe Cuevas couldn't communicate with the officers, because she doesn't speak English,

 and was pushed away when she tried to reach her daughter.

Maribel was crying, the police report said, but Officer Christopher Green, who handcuffed her,

 wrote, "We were able to get Cuevas into the back of the patrol vehicle."

Guadalupe Cuevas said didn't understand what was happening.

"The officer was just saying, 'I don't care, I don't care,'" Guadalupe Cuevas said in Spanish.

 "He told my nephew he didn't speak his kind of English."

The police report said Green read Maribel her Miranda rights twice, in English. The report also

lists the girl's emotional state as "apologetic" and "hysterical."

Maribel's mother and her father, Martin, were able to see their daughter for half an hour the

 day after the incident. The girl's wrists were bruised, her mother said, and she was scared.

Maribel was kept in juvenile hall without seeing her parents again for five nights. When she

 was released, she had to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet that kept her under house

arrest for about three more weeks, leaving school early to make it home before the 3 p.m. curfew.

This is a case where the police department "overreacted and won't back down," Beshwate

said. "I don't know if they don't like Spanish speakers, if it's racism, or if they were having a

bad day. But how can you defend this kind of behavior?"

Ganging up on a kid--just fine. Defending yourself against a gang of kids--a felony.

She shouldn't have thrown the rock, but those kids shouldn't have pelted her with water balloons.

Hardened criminals don't apologize, and they don't try to get help for the person they just injured.

The cops are going way overboard here--there are real criminals out there that need our attention.

And if that nine-year-old was my kid, he'd be grounded for starting this crap.