Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Walker Middle School student says bullies were targeting him since mid March

TAMPA — The 13-year-old boy said the bullying had been going on for months.

But he didn't say anything. Not to a teacher. Not to a coach. Not to his mother.

Not even when two of the bullies held him down while the other two sexually battered him with a broom handle and hockey stick, authorities say. The boys were alone in the locker room getting ready for an interscholastic flag football team practice.

"That's part of this tragedy," Hillsborough County school superintendent MaryEllen Elia said Saturday. "For whatever reason, he didn't tell anyone."

That changed Wednesday, she said, following an altercation between the victim and his tormenters on the flag football field at Walker Middle School on Tuesday night.

The coach, noticing something unusual, pulled the boy aside.

"The victim said to him, 'I'm just sick of this,' " Elia said.

The coach followed up the next morning, and had the alleged bullies meet with a female physical education teacher. The teacher instructed each of the four students to write down his version of events.

Hours later, deputies from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office arrested four students: Randall John Moye, 14; Raymond A. Price-Murray, 14; Lee Louis Myers, 14; and Diemante J. Roberts, 15.

The four will be charged as adults and face charges of sexual battery and false imprisonment in connection with the April 30 assault, said Assistant State Attorney Pam Bondi. They were taken to a juvenile detention center and could be there for at least 21 days, said Debbie Carter, a spokeswoman for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

None of the parents of the accused could be reached for comment Saturday night.

Elia, who said she has not read the four students' written accounts, said school officials acted as soon as they became aware of a problem.

"As soon as it became obvious that there was more involved in this than a simple altercation," the school resource officer was called, she said. "There obviously had been a clue in those stories."

The boy, whom the Times is not identifying because of the nature of the crime, told authorities he had been bullied between March 15 and May 5 and identified his attackers, Elia said.

The incident has rocked the community and parents, who said Walker is a good school.

Questions have been raised about the level of the supervision, which the school district is looking into, she said. "Most of the students don't even go into the locker room," Elia said.

The attack also highlights the larger issue of bullying, Elia said.

"It's tragic," she said. "We need to make sure that our students feel they can talk about this."

The district has lined up guidance counselors to be available to Walker students and staff on Monday, Elia said.

Parents and school staff members also will be contacted through the district's ParentLink system.

"I think it's a time when we need to pull together," Elia said. "It's just one of those incidents that you feel terrible occurred."

Times staff writer Robbyn Mitchell contributed to this report. Kameel Stanley can be reached at or (727)893-8643.

Walker Middle School student says bullies were targeting him since mid March 05/09/09 [Last modified: Sunday, May 10, 2009 8:41am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Trump vowed to end DACA. Tampa Bay immigrants worry he soon will

    State Roundup

    Andrea Seabra imagined the worst if Donald Trump won: "I thought on the first day he would say, 'DACA is done' and send immigration officers to every house."

    Mariana Sanchez Ramirez, 23, poses for a photograph on the Tampa campus of the University of South Florida on Wednesday. Mariana, who was born in Torreon in the state of Coahuila, Mexico, traveled with her family to the United States on a tourist's visa in 2000. She was able to stay in the U.S. and attended college after President Barack Obama's action on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals in June 2012. Mariana will graduate with a degree in political science from USF next month. (CHRIS URSO   |   Times)
  2. Want to audition for Howl-O-Scream? Here's how.


    How would you like a job that has you running all night, dodging punches and earning high marks from your boss if you make someone wet their pants?

    Lindsay Weppelman, a University of South Florida biomedical science student, plays a Zombie Bride in one of Busch Gardens' open-air scare zones at Howl-O-Scream 2016.  Photo courtesy of Busch Gardens.
  3. On the defensive: Heisman history not in Derwin James' favor


    The lowdown on Derwin James? "No offense to (Michigan's Jabrill) Peppers (a Heisman finalist last year)," ESPN analyst Rex Ryan says, "but he only wished he was the player this kid was." (Monica Herndon, Times)
  4. Trigaux: Closing Iron Yard coding school hits area tech hard but leaders talk of options


    The coming shutdown this fall of the Iron Yard software coding school in downtown St. Petersburg — announced this month as part of a national closing of all 15 Iron Yard locations — remains a shocking event to a Tampa Bay technology community that dreams big of becoming a major player in the Southeast if not …

    In better days last fall, friends and family of graduates at The Iron Yard, based in the Station House in downtown St. Petersburg, applaud during "Demo Day" when grads of the coding school show off their skills. Despite the local success and strong job placement by the coding school, The Iron Yard is closing all of its 15 locations across the country this summer. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  5. Kevin Kiermaier: Return to action Thursday 'didn't set the world on fire'

    The Heater

    Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier's return from the hip injury that sidelined him since June 8 could have gone better Thursday in Port Charlotte. He broke two bats and went hitless in two at bats while playing for the Class A Charlotte Stone Crabs.

    Kevin Kiermaier takes cuts in the cage during batting practice before the game between the Rays and Texas Rangers Saturday at Tropicana Field. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]