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Updated: 7:55 a.m. Friday, June 15, 2012 | Posted: 7:20 a.m. Friday, June 15, 2012
By Carl Willis
A student on the way home from summer school said he was beaten as the result of a violent game. Channel 2's Carl Willis talked with the 16-year-old victim and his mother. The teen said he was walking to the MARTA station on Hamilton E. Holmes Drive in Southwest Atlanta on June 6 when he was confronted. "He said, 'Free pick,' and he hit me in my eye, and I fell to the ground," said the victim. His mother doesn't want him to be identified. She said her son is the one on video in the center of all of the chaos. In the video, which was posted online, the teen can be seen getting swarmed and beaten. "A boy hit me with a 2x4 in the back of my head and that's when I fell, and they started kicking me in my face and stomping me," said the victim. He said the scrapes, bruises and lumps he suffered were all the result of a violent game called "free pick." "'Free pick' is when they pick a random person to jump on," he said. According to the victim, another teen, who he doesn't know, asked him his name. When he answered, the other boy shouted, 'free pick,' designating him as the target. A sucker punch followed. "When I saw the video I just started crying," said the victim's mother. She offered up a copy of the assault and battery report filed with the Atlanta Police Department. An officer contacted a school detective for Channel 2 Action News. He said the detective was not familiar with the term "free pick," but said they have had other after-school incidents where victims were chosen randomly. "I'm very uncomfortable with it. I take him to school and pick him up every day because I fear for his life," said the victim's mother. She said an officer will take a look at the video and attempt to locate the attackers. She and her son are urging parents to warn their children about this dangerous game. "That's nothing to play with, because you can kill someone like that," said the victim.
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