It was all over a pair of missing tennis shoes.
David Egan, 16, was confronted by another 16-year-old male student in their high school locker room apparently over the missing shoes — and then Egan was beaten so severely by the unnamed student that he needed reconstructive surgery to reattach his nose to his skull.
High school student David Egan in the hospital after a severe locker room beating. (Image source: WXIA-TV)
More that that, the Tuesday morning incident was recorded on three cellphones — and no one intervened; only a smattering of hoots and hollers from the gathered witnesses.
Here's one of the cellphone videos of the incident (warning: the violent content and raw language may be disturbing).
The attack happened at Parkview High School in Lilburn, Ga., about 30 minutes east of Atlanta, WXIA-TV reported. Egan was leaving weightlifting class when the attack happened.
As the video indicates, the shirtless student suddenly punches Egan in the face; Egan stumbles backward toward a row of lockers; the student slams Egan into the lockers, which ring loudly from the impact; then a final punch to the face knocks Egan to the ground, where he lays surrounded by other male students who apparently do nothing but react in awe — one student apparently hoots his approval.
“This is a premeditated brutal attack, and there was more than one person,” Egan's father Danny told WSB-AM. “The most disturbing thing about it is no one tried to help him.”
“There were three cellphones videotaping, you know, he sucker-punched him, he’s in the middle of trying to talk. He dazed him, and then exploited the fact that he was dazed.”
Egan told WXIA his son's attacker hit him "very hard at the top of his nose, which means he actually broke where the nose connects to the skull." Egan's reconstructive surgery occurred Wednesday morning.
WXIA couldn't track down the student who punched Egan for his side of the story, but Gwinnett Schools said the student was charged with battery, which is reflected in the school police report. The school is taking disciplinary action against the student but what that discipline entails is not being disclosed.
The district did confirm that the student reported his shoes missing the day before the attack and that an assistant principal was investigating.
Danny Egan said he won't send his son back to Parkview High School.
"This is my child," Egan told WXIA. "How would you feel if you saw a person fracturing his face, smashing him up against a locker, punching him so hard that it breaks his nose off his skull?"
Egan's dad said he's wondering about a few other things: First, why the attacker isn't being charged as an adult, and why the school didn't call an ambulance. Egan said the school instead contacted him to pick up his son.
According to the Gwinnett County 911 Center, no emergency calls came from the school on the day of the incident. In an email, district officials told WXIA that injured students are typically taken to a medical clinic for treatment, and then parents are called.
Here's a detailed report on the locker-room attack and larger issues surrounding school violence and bullying: