12-year-old recovering in ICU after stabbing, mother says

Police say boy stabbed by 13-year-old with mental disability during fight

By Zachery Lashway - Reporter/anchor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A 12-year-old boy stabbed by a teenager this week in Northwest Jacksonville is recovering in the Intensive Care Unit, and his mother called the entire ordeal a nightmare.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office arrested a 13-year-old boy, who has a diagnosed mental disability, after a fight led to a stabbing Tuesday. News4Jax is not naming the 13-year-old.

Latanya Bradley, the mother of the 12-year-old boy, said her son got into a fight with another boy Tuesday afternoon on Wilberforce Road, shortly after school let out.

The altercation led to the stabbing, which landed her son, Avery Harden, in the hospital, she said. He's expected to survive.

Bradley said she'll never forget the life-changing phone call from police.

“They just said, 'Your son is in the hospital.' And then there was a long pause and then, ‘He was stabbed’ -- and then I dropped the phone on the ground,” Bradley said. “It’s gut-wrenching, heart-piercing, numbness -- and then nothing, because then there are no words or thoughts, because all you can think of is, 'Is my son going to live?'”

Bradley said Avery was in surgery for four hours.

“He was punctured in the stomach, diaphragm up into his chest, and they had to go in there and cut him all the way open as if he was having a heart surgery. That is so scary,” Bradley said.

According to the police report, the 13-year-old said Avery punched him 15 times and he feared for his life before pulling out the knife. But Avery's mom said her son doesn't know the teen.

The report shows the 13-year-old is 6 feet, 1 inch tall and weighs 175 pounds. Avery is 5 feet, 7 inches tall and weighs 135 pounds.

During the arrest, the teen told police the pocket knife was still in his pocket. When they pulled it out, it still had blood on the blade, according to investigators.

“My son is not safe, and just random kids walking around with weapons of any kind and viciously stabbing people -- that makes no sense to me. No sense,” Bradley said. “My son is fighting for his life right now.  This makes no sense to me.”

News4Jax stopped by the 13-year-old's home, but the family did not answer the door. 

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