Mall reverses decision to ban teen after vicious attack

Posted at: 11/27/2013 10:18 PM
By: Caleb James, KOB Eyewitness News 4

On Wednesday, a 14-year-old boy banned from Coronado Mall after he was assaulted is allowed to come back.

KOB Eyewitness News 4 first brought you Issaic's story on Tuesday.

Cell phone video showed the teen being viciously punched in the back of the head.

After the incident, the mall banned Issaic - and the boy who punched him.

It didn't take long for people to get upset about this video you saw first on 4.

14-year-old Issaic is punched out cold inside Coronado Mall on a Saturday in November. The openly gay teen says his 16-year-old attacker was angry about things Issaic wrote on Facebook about a girl. Issaic says his attacker made gay slurs.

There was a verbal altercation just before the other boy punched Issaic. Both boys were banned from the mall.

After hearing Issaic's story last night on KOB, the world took to Twitter, expressing their frustration with the story. Lots of people calling for action after the incident. That's where Progress Now New Mexico got involved. They posted a link to our story on their website.

"Learning that he had then been banned -- basically punished for being a victim -- that just offends every sense of right and wrong that I have personally," said state senator Jacob Candelaria (D-Albuquerque).

Candelaria joined in asking for Issaic to be allowed back at the mall.

After repeated attempts to interview general manager Randy Sanchez, he sent us this statement:

"We believe discrimination of any kind is wrong. For no other reason, we ban individuals if they do not abide by the Code of Conduct posted at every entrance and on our website. There was an altercation prior to what's seen on the video that precipitated the ban of all the individuals involved. Management was not made aware of the alleged personal details now being reported until after the fact. But upon further review of both incidents and the reporting of the incident after, mall management has rescinded the ban on the individual. We strive every day to provide a place of inclusion and safety. Our sincerest apologies to all who believed we did not live up to those standards we've set for ourselves. Please know that we also agree that discrimination of any kind is wrong."

Candelaria said he was happy about the development.

"I do support now the mall stepping up and doing what was right, lifting the ban on this young man who was assaulted," he said.

Candelaria said allowing Issaic back at the mall is a start -- but he wants to see charges filed against the boy who punched Issaic.

"Follow the facts. If this young man is indeed guilty of a crime, then he should be prosecuted and it should be investigated to the full extent of the law," said Candelaria.

APD tells KOB a detective has been actively working the case since November 21, even though Issaic declined to press charges.

Aggravated battery charges are pending.