Pinellas bus beating victim's guardian speaks out - WFLA News Channel 8

Pinellas bus beating victim's guardian speaks out

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PINELLAS COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

The bus surveillance video of three teens beating a younger boy on a Pinellas school bus this summer, made national news. Through all of the publicity, there has been very little information released about the victim.

Patty Yankey is the victim's grandmother, and legal guardian since he was 2 years old. She's fiercely protective of him and wants to keep him out of the media glare as much as possible.

Yankey didn't realize the extent of the beating until she saw the video. " I almost fainted, I got weak to my knees I couldn't believe it, just can't believe what they did to him," said Yankey. For her, the worst part was that he told her he could hear the boys taunting him and threatening him the entire ride on the bus before the beating occurred.

Gulfport Police arrested three boys,Lloyd Khemradj, Julian McKnight, and Joshua Reddin, all age 15, and charged them with aggravated battery. Reddin also faces a robbery charge for allegedly taking the victim's money.

The victim suffered a number of bruises, and a broken bone in his hand. His grandmother said the injuries are healing, but she worries about his emotional scars. He doesn't talk much about what happened, she said.

This week he started attending a new school, but was unable to ride the bus. "When he went to the bus stop yesterday he said I don't think I can do it, and I said you don't have to do it. I'll take you to school," said Yankee.

Once the beating video was shown nationally on television and the Internet, Gulfport Police and the Pinellas-Pasco State's Attorney's office began receiving calls, cards and emails expressing support for the victim. In some cases, the people want to send donations to the family. " It makes me speechless to know there are people out there that truly care and don't even know you," said Yankey.

This week, she set up a trust fund at Suncoast Bank to handle donations. She plans to use the money for her grandson's education.

The account number is 1000 163 788 291.

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