Friday, April 18, 2003
Attack victim on the mend
The Concord girl who was attacked walking home from her friend's house on April 10 is making a good recovery at home and should be back at school after April vacation, according to Arthur Dulong, CCHS principal, who said he spoke with the girl's father on Monday.
Sixteen year old Caitlin Meuse was struck in the head and face with a baseball bat or other blunt object as she walked to her house on Prescott Road last Thursday night. She was found bleeding and unconscious in the street by a neighbor. Meuse was treated at Boston Medical Center's intensive care unit for head injuries, a fractured nose, deep cuts and bruises, and missing front teeth. She was released from the hospital on Monday.
Local newspapers and television stations initially reported that the attack might have been a hate crime, stemming from an incident at the high school the previous day. On Wednesday, April 9, over 200 students at CCHS, including Meuse, participated in a national day of silence in which students refrain from speaking during the school day, to show their support for gay and lesbian issues. The aim of the demonstration is to mirror the silence of gay young people, who often keep their sexual preference a secret for fear of being ostracized or physically attacked. During the day, Meuse was allegedly singled out by another girl, who insulted the participating students and called Meuse a lesbian.
Dulong said that Concord Police had visited the school several times since Friday to interview particular students. They also spoke with students who wanted to provide information about the victim and the attack. Meuse had transferred to CCHS after Christmas this year from a private school in Cambridge. As of Tuesday, there was no evidence that the attack was related to events or students at the high school.
"The investigation is ongoing, " said Detective Sergeant Morahan of the Concord Police. "At this point we're not ruling anyone or anything in or out." Detective Morahan said police are following up on the many tips and leads they received from students and neighbors.
The principal said that counseling sessions were organized at the school on Monday and Tuesday for any student who wanted to talk with a guidance counselor or social worker. A banner signed by students and teachers, wishing the girl a speedy recovery, was delivered to the Meuse home on Tuesday.
"The overall feeling at the school is sadness," said Dulong. "Caitlin hasn't been with us that long, but everyone here is saddened by what happened."
© 2003 The