SANTA ROSA, Calif. --The Sonoma County District Attorney's Office did not file charges today against a Santa Rosa woman accused of injuring an 11-year-old schoolboy who allegedly bullied her daughter.
Deputy District Attorney Anne Masterson said the investigation into the case against 30-year-old Delia Garcia-Bratcher is still underway and asked Judge Dana Simonds to continue the case for two or three weeks.
Simonds set June 19 as the next court date for Garcia-Bratcher, who was arrested on a felony charge of inflicting injury to a child.
Sonoma County sheriff's officials said she went to Olivet Elementary School on Willowside Road west of Santa Rosa around noon last Friday to confront the boy about bullying her daughter.
Garcia-Bratcher allegedly grabbed the boy by the throat in front of witnesses, including her son who had pointed out the alleged bully to her, and threatened the boy about bullying her daughter, according to the sheriff's office.
The boy had red marks consistent with being grabbed in the neck by an adult. School staff photographed the red marks as soon as they became aware of the incident, sheriff's officials said.
No adults witnessed the assault but numerous children were present at the time, according to the sheriff's office.
In a subsequent press release, sheriff's officials said they were unable to find a "nexus" between Garcia-Bratcher's daughter and the 11-year-old boy and that they were unable to determine if any bullying ever occurred between the two.
"We have exculpatory evidence the boy made up the story," defense attorney Ben Adams said after this morning's brief hearing.
"She is adamant she never laid a hand on him, and she didn't get (confront) the wrong boy. This boy is lying," Adams said of his client.
Adams said "a very excellent investigator" was hired to determine the alleged victim lied.
"This story will develop over the next few weeks," he said.
"Our heads are held high today. She's innocent. A good mother protects her child," Adams said.
Garcia-Bratcher politely asked the boy to leave her daughter alone, Adams said.
"She said, 'I don't want to have to tell on you. Stop being a brat,'" Adams said. "The school should step up and do their damn job."
Garcia-Bratcher has taken her children out of Olivet Elementary School, Adams said.
Adams said other parents have said there is a history of bullying at the school and nothing was done about it.
"My client is a folk hero all over the world. She did nothing wrong. The boy got confronted about it and now is lying about it," Adams said.
"If there were marks on the boy's neck, he or someone else put them there," Adams said.