A 14-year-old boy who was attacked by the father of a girl he was bullying has stated the experience has left him mentally scarred and suffering from nightmares.
Footage of 53-year-old Mark Bladen attacking the teenager (who cannot be named for legal reasons) went viral after he confronted him for bullying his daughter (who cannot be named either).
Bladen, from Brisbane, Australia, choked out his daughter’s tormentor but he claims the altercation made him feel like a victim of bullying too.
The video shows Bladen dispense his own form of justice, confronting the teen before trying to choke him out, within hours of being uploaded online it went viral.
According to a letter written by the teenager, and read by his lawyer, the incident and wide-ranging media coverage, thereafter, has left him in distress.
In his letter he writes:
I have been extremely distressed by this whole saga and cry at night from the repeat nightmares I have of this man’s face strangling me.
I don’t know what is wrong with society as this was a blatant and unprovoked attack which has left me mentally scarred.
While the teen does admit to using a fat-shaming slur towards Bladen’s daughter – labelling her ‘King Kong’ – he claims it was in retaliation for the online abuse his mother had received.
His letter went onto say:
This girl started throwing horrid insults on Snapchat about my mum.
She said things I do not want to repeat here as they are disgusting. She then continued to pester me with abuse.
She knew I did self-harm and was having counselling for this.
I retaliated by calling her King Kong, as she calls herself KK on Snapchat, hoping this would stop it.
The boy and his parents were offered a chance to give their version of events on Australia’s 60 Minutes and as well as the opportunity to give their hot take on cyberbullying.
However, the request was declined by the family, via the boy’s lawyer.
The letter adds:
I have been exceptionally distressed by all this horrid media and the way I have been portrayed.
My parents have told me not to reply or respond as it will give away my identity to a mob who have based their story from a trial by media and this man has clearly seen it as an opportunity to behave as if he is some model parent.
I am only 14 years old and my grades are suffering at school from this whole experience and I am trying to deal with living my life without this on the go. It is horrid.
Two weeks after the altercation Bladen wrote a letter to the boy and his parents to ‘sincerely apologise’ for his ‘actions’. He claimed it filled him deep ‘regret and shame’ for the way he behaved.
According to 9News, Bladen was ‘not proud’ of his actions but he got the ‘job done’ because his step-daughter was ‘no longer being bullied’.
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