Boy with special needs: ‘I knew bullying went on, but not to this extent'


BEAVER COUNTY, Pa. - A 15-year-old boy was found guilty in juvenile court Friday on aggravated assault charges stemming from a physical attack on a special needs student in a high school cafeteria.

Police said Zach Montgomery, a ninth-grader living with autism and a heart defect, was attacked in October in the cafeteria at Central Valley High School, in Beaver County.

“I knew bullying went on, but not to this extent,” Montgomery said.

On Friday, the 14-year-old accused in the attack was found guilty, as the judge called the incident “revolting, defenseless and extreme bullying.”

“It’s heartbreaking, really heartbreaking,” Montgomery’s mother, Rhonda Montgomery, said.

The attacker’s attorney, Steven Valsamidis, didn’t deny the horror of the surveillance tape and said neither side has won.

“This was a sad case all the way around. The history of bullying, regardless of whose side you want to believe, clearly shows there’s something going on,” Valsamidis said.

Rhonda Montgomery said she feels for the attacker.

“I just hope they get help,” she said.