12-year-old in hospital after brutal playground beating


Reporter - Jason Hibbs
Photojournalist - Chad Darnall

PADUCAH, Ky. - A 12-year-old is under close observation at Vanderbilt University Medical Center after his mother says two boys attacked him for no apparent reason on a Paducah playground Sunday night.
His mom says her son, Ian Poole, is doing much better.

At one point she thought her son would die when he became very sleepy, started throwing up, and a cat scan revealed he was bleeding in the brain.  She wants to get her son home, but once he heals, she's going to fight back, and plans on pressing charges against the two boys she says beat her son.

The sights and sounds of the playground would bring a smile to any parent's face, but what happened to Ian Poole at the Morgan Elementary playground on Sunday night sickens his mother, Ann.

"One of them came up and kicked Ian in the back, and started punching him. Ian fell to the ground and was knocked out," Ann said.

Then she says the two boys who beat him, hid his phone so he couldn't call for help.  She says two of Ian's friends witnessed the attack, but were afraid to get involved.

"From what Ian's two friends said, those two boys started kicking him in the head and pounding on him more," Ann said.

When Ian's attackers left, the friends found Ian's phone and called his mom.  She couldn't believe what she saw when she picked him up.

"He couldn't see.  He was having a hard time hearing.  There was blood all over his face. I got him home, cleaned him up and we called police," Ann said.

"Something as simple as a punch to the head can be a lot more significant than most people think," Paducah Police Captain Brian Krueger said.

Krueger said the suspect's parents are cooperating, and the the kids will likely face misdemeanor assault charges.

Ann still wonders why her son was assaulted in the first place.

"I don't understand why this kind of stuff has to happen to anybody,"  Ann said.

Ann told Local 6 her son's attackers went to school with Ian, but they didn't know each other.  She is still not sure why her son was targeted.

At this point, his parents aren't sure when he'll be released from the hospital. They only know doctors want to keep him under observation to make sure he doesn't start bleeding internally again.

While the incident didn't occur during school hours, Paducah Independent Schools Superintendent Randy Greene said his heart goes out to Ian Poole, and that he's praying for a speedy recovery.