TAMPA — The teens had fought before, two weeks ago at their school for troubled youth. But on Thursday, authorities said a 14-year-old got help from his stepfather in the fight.
About 8:30 a.m., deputies say, 30-year-old Jamal R. Shields of Brandon watched as his stepson walked up to a 13-year-old boy at a school bus stop on Causeway Boulevard and started whaling on the younger child with a padlock-filled sock.
Deputies say Shields did nothing to stop the attack, which they described as "brutal." He watched, then drove his stepson home.
The 13-year-old was taken to a hospital for stitches, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said. The Ruskin boy had cuts to the side of his eye, his forehead and back of his head.
Shields faces charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and contributing to the delinquency of a child. His stepson faces a charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. Everyone involved in the altercation has criminal records, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Shields has been arrested 29 times in Florida. He has been convicted of grand theft motor vehicle, marijuana possession, resisting an officer, obtaining a controlled substance without a prescription, reckless driving, driving with a suspended license and cocaine possession.
He spent a year in prison starting in late 2000 for drug, burglary and grand theft charges, records show, and he spent just over three years in prison starting in 2006 on cocaine charges. His stepson has previously been charged with battery.
The victim has been charged three times with battery and once with resisting an officer.
The two students attended AMI Kids, formerly known as Tampa Marine Institute.
Times news researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report.