Riverside County

Guardians of Boy Killed During Bullying at Moreno Valley School Intend to Sue

Diego Stolz died last month from head trauma inflicted during a punch from a schoolmate.

The guardians of a 13-year-old boy who was fatally injured during a confrontation with alleged bullies on a Moreno Valley middle school campus will announce next week their intent to sue the Moreno Valley Unified School District for wrongful death.

Felipe and Juana Salcedo had custody of Diego Stolz, who died last month from head trauma inflicted during a punch from a schoolmate.

According to attorney Dave Ring, the pair intend to file a claim against MVUSD, seeking unspecified damages for Diego's death.

Ring will provide further details during a news briefing Tuesday at the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa in downtown Riverside.

The two boys allegedly involved in the assault on Diego are facing manslaughter charges in Riverside Juvenile Dependency Court. Neither defendant has been identified.

Both are being held in Riverside Juvenile Hall.

Diego was attacked on the afternoon of Sept. 16 in front of a building at Landmark Middle School.

Riverside County sheriff's Sgt. William Stens said deputies were called to the location to investigate after the victim was taken to Riverside University Medical Center for treatment of “significant injuries.” A portion of the attack was videotaped on a student's cell phone and shows one boy taunting and, moments later, punching the victim in the face, causing him to fall backward and bang his head on a pillar. Witnesses said he began foaming at the mouth.

The two defendants were arrested hours afterward, initially for assault.

Attorney David Wohl, who is representing one of the boys, told reporters earlier this month that a culture pervades the Landmark campus that has made fighting an accepted “part of life.”

“Most of the time, thankfully, no one dies,” Wohl said. “But the school lost control, and the school allowed this culture to fester. And one child is dead because of it.”

Diego was removed from life support at the end of September after he was declared brain dead.

MVUSD recently announced sweeping policy changes intended to put a stop to bullying incidents, establishing an online complaint process for students and parents and establishing a set of guidelines that identify prohibited behaviors and a phone number that students and parents may call anytime they want to flag acts of aggression, verbal or physical.

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