A Columbus woman said what started as taunting, escalated into an attack that left her 12-year-old son swollen and bleeding - and a teenage suspect charged with assault.
And, she fears her son's injuries would have been much worse if a bystander had not intervened.
"I run out the door. He had picked him up and slammed him," said witness Gregory Lee. "So, when I get there, he took off running. And his whole little crew, they were standing right there, too. They're not scared."
Lee said he saw the attack happen from the front window of his home and broke it up within seconds.
But according to a Columbus Police report, the suspect had already "slammed the victim to the ground" and "punched him four times in the head."
"They probably would have beat him down bad," Lee said.
According to police, five teens - all believed to be South High School students - attacked the seventh grader on Seibert Street.
At least one of the teens is charged with assault, but more charges could come.
The victim's mother, Bernetta Ward, was just a couple of blocks away at the family's East Livingston Avenue home, when the attack happened.
She said her son is still sore from the beating.
"He was complaining about a little soreness and stuff, around his face and the back of his head," said Ward.
Despite his injuries, Ward said her son insisted on going back to school and facing the teens who did this to him.
But she worries they might retaliate against him.
"To be honest, I really don't want him to fight," said Ward. "But if it's consisting of him making it home safely, then I really prefer my son to do what he has to do to get home to me."
Lee, a father of four, said he can't imagine what might have happened, had he not stepped in.
But, he said, he hopes the attack is a wake-up call for his neighbors, and this entire east side community.
"I think it's important for the community, cause there was adults out here. Didn't nobody do nothing," Lee said.