Attacked! A Memoir by Mark Simon.
Attacked is my memoir of how my family and I fought extreme bullying and physical attacks. We defeated the asshole gang on our terms in court. I am the first person in the country to successfully use a law holding parents legally responsible for the violent actions of their kids.
September, 1980. I was 16. I was attacked by a group of about thirty kids while I was sitting in my car at a bonfire party.
The story flashes back to the events leading up to the initial attack. My life had been a storybook existence of family closeness, laughter and joy. I worked hard running my father’s construction company job sites. I had an authoritative personality from bossing around construction men at an early age. And I didn’t take shit from anyone. That’s what started the problem.
The gang was used to total control in high school, and they lost that control with me. They were a dry tinder of short, angry tempers. My short stature and smart-ass attitude sparked the incendiary attacks on me, my family and anyone associated with me.
Steve and Perry, the leaders of the gang, spread their evil attacks far beyond just my family. They broke into the school to burn their records, broke the bones of kids who looked the wrong way at them, started brawls in restaurants and threw cinder blocks off freeway overpasses just for fun.
After the initial attack, the gang showed up at my house and physically assaulted my parents in our front yard.
Local Officer Ogden advised us to use the new law holding parents responsible for the delinquent actions of their kids. Judge McElroy set a date that week to officially warn all the families involved.
Being a target of the asshole gang turned me into a pariah at school with everyone, even friends, turning their backs on me. Except for one friend, Jim Irvine. Jim, who became my life-long best friend, stood by me and helped protect and patrol my home through long, late nights of intense fear.
I was hunted and attacked by the gang in school, on the roads, at parties, anywhere they could find me.
There were moments when I felt normal again until another attack broke me. I suffered a nervous breakdown and I made the call to have the gang leaders’ parents arrested.
Weeks of fear and other attacks passed before the court trial. One brazen beating by seven of the gang members at a party turned my fear into anger and I tried to hunt them down.
I entered the courtroom with a mix of anxious anticipation of winning and abject terror that it would just make things worse.
This is my story.
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