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Parent charged after grabbing, pinning teen at Thornton Community Center

THORNTON, Colo. -- Three of GlendaRika Garcia’s boys have spent a lot of time this summer at the Thornton Community Center, but now says they’ll never return after a man reportedly assaulted her son July 10, leaving him with a minor concussion.

“It seemed to be like a safe place,” Garcia said.Something more could have been done -- should have been done.”

Garcia says it started off as a fight between her 15-year-old son Mauricio and a teenage girl. Garcia says the girl was bugging him and trying to knock off his hat. Garcia says Mauricio swatted the girls hand away and grabbed her by the wrist.

An incident report from Thornton police indicates that girl had been in trouble at the community center before. The report says the girl went downstairs to the weight room to get her father, Tony Sanchez. The Problem Solvers spoke to Sanchez over the phone.

“She’s holding her arm and her arm is all red and twisted,” Sanchez said.

 Thornton police had access to a number of security cameras around the building, according to the police report.

The report says Sanchez went straight to the teen center from the weight room. Garcia says that’s an issue, because no adults are allowed in the teen center without checking in with the desk.

“I’ve picked my kids up there before. I know you can’t just walk in there,” Garcia said.

 The police report says Mauricio was watching TV, when Sanchez is seen on camera approaching him from behind.

”I put my hand on his head, pushed him down to the ground and I didn’t kick him or punch him or anything like that,” Sanchez said.

“I’m not condoning what I did, you know, two wrongs don’t make a right. It was just a spur-of-the-moment reaction. All I can say is, put yourself in my shoes and picture someone grabbing your daughter, hurting her.”

 Sanchez has been charged with misdemeanor child abuse and was given a ticket. Garcia thinks he should be in jail.

 “You’re an adult and you have an obligation, I feel, as an adult, to act like an adult and put out a good example for your kid,” Garcia said. She’s now threatening to sue the city because staff didn’t call her or the police. She filed the report with Thornton police.

“Our staff is trained on how to file a report when an incident happens,” a city spokesman said but wouldn’t comment further because of an ongoing police investigation and potential litigation. 

Sanchez will be in court in September for this charge. 

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