JACKSON, Michigan (WOOD) — Ashley Wastakiewicz is 7, a first-grader, and her family said she’s been bullied for more than a year. It’s so bad, her mom said, that she’s afraid to go outside to play.
So her mom created an anti-bullying Facebook page called “Justice for Ashley” and an event. But she never expected what would happen next.
Several dozen members of area motorcycle clubs, in leather and on their big bikes, showed up in force on Tuesday.
“We got word from other brothers at other clubs and we all met,” James Dingmon, a member of American Veterans Motorcycle Club of Jackson, said on Wednesday. “I don’t believe in bullying. Nobody should be bullied.”
They met the girl and her parents at a park near their home and even let her sit on a bike. Then, they gathered in her neighborhood, not far from the bully’s home. A few even went to the alleged bully’s home to talk to his mom, who wasn’t home.
“We wanted a show of force, that she is loved and she’s got people out here that care for her,” Dingmon said of Ashley.
Ashley’s mom says an 11-year-old boy who lives down the street has picked on her daughter for months, even threatening her. In April, according to a police report, he was accused of attacking her. He was charged with misdemeanor assault.
“She was pushing her bike home and the bully had pushed her to the ground, had kicked her and had punched her in her face,” her mom said.
Her mom says she was treated at the local ER for bruises and a swollen nose.
“She has felt that nobody loves her, nobody cares about her. She feels alone,” her mom said. “She is afraid to come outside to play. She has been cooped up most of the summer because she is afraid to come out and play with the fear of being bullied.”
It’s an allegation that the boy’s mom and the boy denied.
“I was grounded that day,” the boy said from the back seat of his mom’s car on Wednesday.
“He was not out that week at all,” his mom said.
She said an alleged assault last year also didn’t happen. The boy’s mom said she plans to get a personal protection order against the girl’s parents.
“I’ve already been harassed by a biker gang thanks to them,” she said.
As for Ashley, she’s already made a card for her new biker friends. She was too shy to read it, so her mom did it for her:
“I am bullied. Bikers take care of me.”