• Clay County parent says teen son's life ruined after he defended himself against bullies

    By: Courtney Cole , Action News Jax


     A Clay County father says his son’s life took a bad turn after he defended himself against bullies.

    The 15-year-old boy was arrested in November, and expelled from Middleburg High School after being accused of making a bomb threat at the school.

    Charges were dropped, but the boy is still not in school.

    Action News Jax's Courtney Cole spoke exclusively with the boy’s father who admits his son said something distasteful, but says he didn’t make a threat.

    Alex Velazquez-Suarez was a ninth grade student at Middleburg High School until November 2017.

    That's when his father, Tony Velazquez-Suarez, says there was an altercation between him and some other students in class.

    "They said some racial comments, from some girls. Some of the guys who picked on him all year, making comments and my son got very upset,” Tony said.

    He says the teacher excused his son, because she could see something was wrong.

    That’s when he says Alex mentioned being connected to a gang.

    “My son made a stupid comment and said, ‘It’s OK, I’m a gutter kid with the Crips,’“ Tony told Action News Jax.

    Tony says he believes the students were upset for being reprimanded for their behavior toward Alex.

    He says one of the students told his father, who Tony says is employed by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.

    But the Clay County Sheriff’s office spokesman says this student wasn’t the only who heard Alex make the threat.

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    “And that dad called his friend, who’s a resource officer for Clay County —and he came to my house and arrested my son for making a false bomb report to the school. He had to start at Florida Virtual School, where he’s doing great. It’s just really uprooted his life and our lives,” Tony said.

    Tony says the school told him they had to take this measure, because of the nature of the crime he was being accused of committing.

    “We’re supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. He was guilty and we had to prove his innocence.”

    Action News Jax is working with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office to obtain the report for the incident that happened with Alex, back in November 2017.

    Courtney Cole also reached out to the Clay County School District, but they declined to comment on the incident.

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