IL - Death of Aquan Lewis, 10, at Evanston school ruled suicide, 3 Feb 2009

Discussion in 'Crimes-Spotlight on Children' started by wildTrose, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. wildTrose

    wildTrose New Member

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    EVANSTON, Ill. – A 10-year-old boy reportedly found hanging from a coat hook at his suburban Chicago school took his own life, according to a preliminary coroner's office ruling on Wednesday. A daily ledger released by the Cook County medical examiner noted "hanging" and "suicide" as the cause of death for fifth-grader Aquan Lewis, who was found unresponsive in a bathroom at the Evanston school Tuesday afternoon and was pronounced dead at a hospital Wednesday morning.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090205/ap_on_re_us/student_hanged
     
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  3. Kat

    Kat Kind words do not cost much

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    I know the coroner's office ruled this death a suicide but I'm having a hard time with that conclusion.

    From the article wildTrose gave us:

    "There were on average just 10 U.S. suicides among 10-year-olds a year between 1999 and 2005, according to statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control."

    It's rare, very rare for a child this age to commit suicide.


    Also:

    "A janitor at Oakton Elementary School, Elliott Lieteau, said he found Aquan on the floor of the restroom and that others told him the boy had been pulled off a hook. Lieteau said he performed CPR."

    Who found this child? He was found hanging from a coat hook in the bathroom by someone. Who released him from the hook? Wouldn't that require to lift up a bit and to uncatch a child's clothing from the hook? How much did this child weigh?

    I'm not sure another 10 yr old could manage that by themselves. Isn't elementary school grades K-5 there? So a fifth grader was able to take this child down off a hook?

    Does anyone in that school have a criminal history that was undisclosed prior to employment? I have lot's of questions sorry.

    I can't imagine the grief this Mother is going through, she sends her son to school only to be called and told he is deceased. God Bless her and keep her under angels wings.
     
  4. lizzybeth

    lizzybeth Active Member

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    I feel the same as you Kat. I do realize that children at a very young age can suffer from depression, but most times it doesn't result in suicide.

    I would like to know how he was taken down off the coat hook also if the janitor found him on the floor. Did the hook break?
     
  5. Soulscape

    Soulscape Active Member

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  6. Kat

    Kat Kind words do not cost much

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    This is interesting but I'm not sure what to make of it yet:

    "The state's child welfare agency is investigating neglect allegations against an Evanston school where a 10-year-old boy died after being found hanging in a bathroom stall, officials said."

    "Aquan told a teacher he planned to kill himself, and the teacher may also have shared the boy's comments with another staff member, sources told the Sun-Times. One of the sources charged that school personnel failed to take the threat seriously."

    LE says they are still investigating the death even though it was ruled a suicide. About the Teacher who states that this child told her that he planned to kill himself...three words come to mind...duty to inform.

    also:

    Aquan was last seen going to gym class in the hallway at Oakton Elementary. Then a teacher noticed he had disappeared.

    "The question everyone is struggling with is whether he made his departure from a gym class or a regular class to go to the bathroom," Guenther said.

    Nor did authorities say whether there were bruises or any signs of violence on Lewis at the time he was discovered.

    When probed about what he meant by "isolated incident," Guenther said, "No additional student lives were in jeopardy at any time, based on what we now know."
     
  7. wildTrose

    wildTrose New Member

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    I would like to know how high up the hook was..I think that should be a major factor in this and if there was a chair or step stool under it as well.
    I feel for the family...
     
  8. Kat

    Kat Kind words do not cost much

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  9. STEADFAST

    STEADFAST New Member

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  10. Kat

    Kat Kind words do not cost much

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    Another incident of this type in spring of 2005:

    http://www.newsnet5.com/news/4421671/detail.html

    I hope those two articles are not considered too Off Topic, but I think that it illustrates a problem with having these hooks in elementary schools.
     
  11. capoly

    capoly New Member

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    Source: Evanston pupil threatened suicide

    A 10-year-old boy found hanging in an Evanston school restroom had threatened to take his life, sources said today, underscoring experts' warnings to take cries for help seriously even from the very young.

    Scolded by a teacher, Aquan Lewis responded with a threat to kill himself the same day his body was discovered, said sources familiar with the investigation.

    The 5th grader hanged himself Tuesday afternoon by his shirt collar on a hook in an Oakton Elementary School restroom stall where a footprint was found on a toilet, a source said.

    http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2009/02/boy-found-unresponsive-at-evanston-school-dies.html

    That is not an official report so may not be correct. If it is, it's near impossible to believe that the child stood on the toilet, leaned backwards to the stall door, and maintained his balance while securing his shirt collar on the hook. The stall door would had to been latched. I don't know too many young kids that would have ventured into that locked stall. Yet he was on the floor according to the janitor. Lots of questions.

    Prayers with the family
     
  12. Kat

    Kat Kind words do not cost much

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    The portion bolded was done by me respectully.

    :eek:


    That is a new detail (I understand to use caution because it isn't verified as of yet) but the hook was inside the restroom stall ... huh...

    I think that there is more to this story than meets the eye. Your take on it capoly makes a lot of sense.
     
  13. Kat

    Kat Kind words do not cost much

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    There is some interesting chatter by posters on the link that capoly provided in post #10. Not all of it, but there are some posters that claim to have known the victim his family.
     
  14. Megs

    Megs New Member

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    "others told him the boy had been pulled off a hook" (pulled from the article)

    So, who exactly are the "others" that told the custodian he had been pulled off the hook - the article states he weighed a little over 80 lbs. More than one kid would have to pull him off the hook - it's disturbing that they say the custodian found him - not that he was told of him being in there - so, how long had he been in the bathroom before the custodian "found" him.....

    So many questions.....
     
  15. Tonia

    Tonia New Member

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    I cant believe they didn't take him seriously. A 10 yr.old that says "im going to kill myself". That is so sad,i wouldn't think anyone this age would ever even have the thought. Those teachers that he told this to,this may be mean but i hope it haunts them. Poor little guy. I pray for his mother and im sure by hearing what she said when she got to the school that she isn't going to back down.
     
  16. lizzybeth

    lizzybeth Active Member

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    The hook could have been inside the stall. Think about the ones at the department stores. They have a hook on the inside for hanging coats, purses, etc.

    I guess it would be possible for this young man to stand on the toilet in order to be high enough to get his shirt collar on the hook.

    It's just my opinion but at 10 years old this boy might not have realized that death is eternal. He probably thought he would make the teacher sorry for whatever it was he/she did/said. Either way, when anyone (especially a child) says something like this it should be taken seriously.

    I'm still trying to figure out how he got on the floor. I'm thinking the weight of his body may have broke the hook. Even if he were still inside the stall the other boys would have been able to see him if he were on the floor.
     
  17. Tonia

    Tonia New Member

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    Another thing the bathroom stalls usually are a good little bit from the toilet,i cant picture him jumping.
     
  18. christine2448

    christine2448 Retired WS Staff

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    From Capoly's article http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2009/02/boy-found-unresponsive-at-evanston-school-dies.html

    (red mine)


     
  19. Salem

    Salem Former Member

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    Okay - think about this - hope I'm not too graphic here.....

    The boy is in the bathroom stall, wearing a t-shirt. He stands up on the toilet, twists his collar around, until it is tight. Then, while holding the collar with one hand to keep it tight, he leans towards the hook on the stall door. Now he has to balance because he can't let go of the collar, because it will untwist. So using one hand to steady himself, he leans into the stall door and manages to hook up his t-shirt collar? The collar is tight enough?

    I don't think this is possible...... It does not seem to me that the t-shirt would be strong enough with out applied pressure to kill the boy. He would have been hanging from that door for quite a bit of time, in my opinion.

    Logically - it doesn't work. This was not a suicide. At least not how it was described. I'm wearing a t-shirt. I've twisted the collar. I am not going to put myself on a hook, but even still, if the child would have done all those things, I don't think it would have killed him. So something else is going on.

    I highly recommend that Mom get a lawyer and head back to that school and the police department demanding answers.

    Prayers to Angel and Aquan's family and friends.

    Salem
     
  20. wildTrose

    wildTrose New Member

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    My first thought after reading this was other kids had put him on the hook then left.......ive seen this on tv
    if this did happen maybe the bullies didnt realize he would be strangled, that he would actually just be hanging there hopelessly until someone took him down.
    if the kid actually did commit suicide...he had to really put some thought into how and also if i was going to hang myself i wouldnt think of using a hook! so how did the boy think of it?
     
  21. Salem

    Salem Former Member

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    This little boy survived, although apparently he was gravely ill for a while. I would love to hear his version of what exactly happened and how he ended up on a coat hook. I'm thinking he did not get there accidently either.........

    Salem
     

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