Police apparently came prepared for gang warfare when they sent three squad cars and a helicopter in response to a 911 call in Fresno. Instead, they found an 11-year-old girl who had thrown a rock to defend herself as neighborhood boys pelted her with water balloons. Maribel says she didn’t mean to hurt the boy – who admitted to officers that he started the fight and was quickly released from the hospital after getting his head stitched up. But police insist she’s a criminal – she’s being prosecuted on a felony charge of assault with a deadly weapon, reports the Associated Press.
“We determined a felony assault had taken place and the officers took the actions that were necessary,” said Fresno Police Sgt. Anthony Martinez. Her family says Maribel was simply defending herself when 9-year-old Elijah Vang and several other boys pummeled her with water balloons outside her home in a poor Fresno neighborhood in April. “She’s 11 … they’re treating her like she’s a violent parole offender,” said Richard Beshwate, Jr., Maribel’s lawyer.