(KUTV) -- Youth violence make up a majority of gang related crimes, said Detective John Neron of the Unified Police Department’s Metro Gang Unit.
Neron added about the gang violence:
60-70% are juveniles or are exclusively juveniles.
A 12-year-old boy and his Salt Lake County family found this statistic out the hard way. The boy was bullied for months by a 14-year-old boy who was suspected of gang affiliation.
The victimized boy told 2News in an exclusive interview about how he had been bullied at home and at school for months.
“He started bullying me and one time just stabbed me with a pencil,” said the boy, who wished to remain anonymous for his protection.
The harassment only escalated from there, he said.
“He put a gun to my head and told me to give him the money,” he said. “I did it. And I gave him the money.”
2News saw evidence of some kind of abuse, including pornographic graffiti etched into the family’s door.
The child said he did not know what he did to provoke the 14-year-old. He told UPD investigators he believes the teen is affiliated with a gang.
“He comes and he disrespects my mom. He looks at her and takes her stuff, her property, scratches disrespectful stuff on her door," the boy said.
The abuse didn’t stop there, he added.
About a month ago, he said the teen forced him to steal $10,000 of his sister’s college tuition.
“He pulled out the gun. Put it to my head. Showed me the bullets. Took them out. Cocked it so I knew it was loaded. His said, tomorrow if I don’t get my money, I’m gonna shoot you,” said the child.
UPD said it rarely recovers money or other stolen property from robberies.
The boy’s older sister is studying biology at the University of Utah. She works during summer to afford tuition. The money stolen was their mother’s, meant to help offset the burden of tuition for the daughter.
If you'd like to help this family, click here for a Go Fund Me account that has been set up.