Local News

Parents of Wakefield High assault victim 'outraged'

Posted September 23, 2008
Updated September 24, 2008

— The parents of a Raleigh teen say they are outraged that their son could be beaten so badly at school.

DJ Merwitz, 15, had to be rushed to a hospital after the fight Monday at Wakefield High School. The assault happened in a hallway at about 7 a.m.

“The first thing somebody said to me when they saw my son (was), 'Was he in a car accident?' I said, 'No, he was brutally beaten at a high school,'” said Dave Merwitz, the victim's father.

Merwitz suffered multiple fractures to his face, a broken nose and a concussion and required five stitches above his right eye. His parents say he will need reconstructive surgery.

"It's a nightmare. You always want to switch spots with your child. You never want to see your child in pain,” said Irene Merwitz, the victim's mother.

According to an arrest warrant, DJ Merwitz was picked up, thrown to the floor, then punched and kicked numerous times in the face. 

Three classmates have been arrested in the beating.

Authorities charged Micah Hakeem Conley, 16, with assault inflicting serious injury and Stephen Shawn Wilson-Chism, 16, as an accessory after the fact.

On Monday, authorities charged Tyree Lee, 17, with assault inflicting serious injury.

"I am disappointed that it happened on the school grounds, because you assume that is where your kid will be safe,” Dave Merwitz said.

DJ Merwitz said he is embarrassed and ashamed that he wasn't able to defend himself during the assault. His parents say they want something done about school violence so similar events do not happen again.

"I want these kids who did this to my son to pay,” Dave Merwitz said.

WRAL News talked with Lee's grandmother Tuesday evening. She said Lee claims he is the real victim and that Merwitz started the fight.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • myvoicecounts Sep 26, 2008

    So getting hit with a tennis ball is a legit reason to start throwing punches? I am not pointing fingers at anyone at this point, I just feel that this whole situation could have been avoided. I want to know, who is to say that Lee did all the medical damage that he is going to pay for? Why aren't the other boys paying for it. If you read my previous posts, I agreed that the kicks were unnecessary and extremely out of line. Thos boys should definitely be charged. Merwitz is hurt but it could have been much worse. Again, I thank God he is doing well. And where were all the administration and security guards (that I payed 50 dollars more than last year for my parking pass to have) when all of this was going down?

    And Starlyte, I'm sorry to stomp on your parade, but I do not associate myself with anyone of the 'punks' who got arrested. But thank you kindly for the TYPICAL ignorant judgment against me.

  • familyfour Sep 25, 2008

    Violence is the problem. Violence is what layed this guy in a hospital bed. I am kind of disgusted that there is so much defense in who did or did not do what, but there is no REMORSE. Many, many people make mistakes, BAD mistakes. Having a conscience is a very needed human nature that is dwindling away. Many children grow up with little compassion, and it makes for a cold heart. A depressed and broken person. A violet person. All of these young men are in a horrible position. I hope that all of them have the support they need to be better.

  • Sep 25, 2008

    My voice counts Please read the post September 25th @2:05pm of what happened. Thats how it started. And this was more than a school fight when one kid gets kicked in the face with boots by a second kid when he is already unconscious. But like I said I hope it never happens to your kid.

  • myvoicecounts Sep 25, 2008

    David, I respect your opinion just as I do anyone else's in this situation. But do you mean to tell me that he was "jumped" by these boys for no reason?? Or was there a something a reason for them to retaliate. I dont think that he was "just walking down the hall" and all of a sudden three kids came up to him to fight. If you haven't noticed, school fights happen everyday. I'm certainly not saying that this is a good thing, but this was a school fight, and it just so happened that it was a more severe case. Merwitz is not on his death bed and nowhere near it. I thank God he is okay. But was the fight against this 'poor kid' inevitable, or could it have been avoided?

  • Starlyte Sep 25, 2008

    Clearly myvoice is one of the punks who were arrested friend...
    LOVE how you come here when this kid is laid up in the hospital waiting on surgeries, no matter what he has done, he did NOT deserve this. This story is so disturbing and I honestly hope the three kids who did this to this guy get EXACTLY what they deserve. Its not about he said/she said...this kid is hurt and has alot to go through to get well..and all you can think of is who started it. Typical.

  • Sep 25, 2008

    My Voice Counts, Unbelievable you are something else, you have 2 fellons who beat and kicked this poor kid almost to death and you are trying to defend them thats just tells alot about you as a person. Hopefully if you ever have kids this wont happen to your kids,

  • myvoicecounts Sep 25, 2008

    everyone is saying that this is a 3-1 fight. The third guy is charged b/c he switched shirts the boy who kicked him after the fact (hints why they didnt get arrested until the nxt day. if we want to broadcast everyones past, why dont we state the fight that merwitz started last yr in school and lost.. or the time he threw the f bomb at his teacher and ran out of the school. I've talked to many ppl that know this guy and they will all tell you that he has some type of behavior issues. icfdirector, i appreciate you stating the statistics about black assaults. so if the tables were turned and Lee hit this guy first and ended up in the hospital, would Merwitz be paying for his medical bills? I HIGHLY doubt it...

  • turdferguson Sep 25, 2008

    determined2win - Amen! Have you read anything by Larry Elder? Excellent author who shares your disdain for the "victicrats".

  • tarheelblue919 Sep 25, 2008


  • determined2win Sep 25, 2008

    Interesting to note (if true) that a commentor here has stated that a couple of the perps had previous charges...

    Hmmmm... makes me think that if teachers have to have a background check in order to teach, that we might ought to consider having background checks run on students before they are admitted to schools?