Family of Ridge View High School stabbing victim sues Richland Two

Published: Apr. 28, 2023 at 11:11 AM EDT

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The family of the student who was stabbed at Ridge View High School this week is suing Richland School District Two and the parent of the suspect.

The incident happened around 10 a.m. Tuesday in a hallway of the school.

Ridge View High is on Hardscrabble Road in northeast Columbia.

17-year-old student Tony Abrams is charged as an adult with attempted murder.

The lawsuit argues that staff and policies of the school and district were negligent about safety, which led to the tragedy.

“As parents and members of the community, they believe any time there is a violent crime at our schools, it’s a matter of public interest,” the family’s attorney John Mobley said.

The filing also alleges a second assault on the victim at the hands of Abrams the day before the stabbing.

Mobley said that the parents want accountability and responsibility for what happened to their son, who was described as an honors student who played on the varsity football team and was captain of the wrestling team.

“Sometimes, as we all know, the only way to hold people accountable and make them responsible is through our court system,” Mobley told reporters on Friday. “They have faith that this process will work its way through the court system, and their only goal is to make this a safer place for students and the parents of the community.”

The lawsuit, filed in Richland County court, asserts that Abrams assaulted the victim on Monday in a bathroom at Ridge View High with brass knuckles, leaving him unconscious.

Abrams then stole jewelry and other items from the victim, the lawsuit alleges.

It is unclear whether the victim or his family reported this incident to school officials.

In the moments leading up to the stabbing, the lawsuit alleges that the victim approached Abrams in the hallway, asking for his jewelry back.

Abrams responded by saying “You can have it in blood,” and then stabbed him five times, it states.

“During this entire assault, there were no school officials, no administrators, no employees in the vicinity and their son had to wander bleeding through the hallway in order to get medical attention,” Mobley said.

The lawsuit argues that Richland Two was “negligent, careless and reckless” for not having enough staff to monitor students and failing to take reasonable precautions to prevent weapons from coming on campus.

It also mentions a failure to install metal detectors, which the Richland Two board is taking steps to implement at district high schools.

The filing also says Richland Two failed to have or enforce adequate policies to prevent bullying.

“Instead of providing a safe learning environment for students, they’ve provided a breeding ground for thugs, violence and criminal activity,” Mobley said.

Mobley said the parents are equally concerned and fearful about what he characterized as a culture of crime that has occurred at Ridge View over the past few years.

“This increase in crime is a direct result of the systemic failure of the school district to act and implement policies and systems to reduce crime and to keep weapons off the campus,” he said.

Since January 2018, the school has had more than 25 reported assaults on campus and 9 weapon violations with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, the lawsuit said.

Abrams’ mother is liable for damages her son caused, the filing argues.

Attempts to reach her have been unsuccessful.

Regarding Abrams, Mobley said, “My clients have put their faith into the criminal justice system and will let that run its course.”

Richland Two said it cannot comment on pending litigations.

The victim’s parents and Mobley declined to answer questions from reporters on Friday, including how their son was doing, and whether he was still in the hospital.

The press conference can be viewed on the WIS YouTube page.

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