School investigation: Woman touched Piner-Olivet student's neck in 'bully' case

  • Delia Garcia-Bratcher appears during a hearing with her attorney Ben Adams at the Sonoma County Superior Court in Santa Rosa, on Thursday, May 22, 2014. (PD FILE, 2014)

An investigation report released Thursday calls into question a Santa Rosa mother’s claim that a 12-year-old elementary school student fabricated a story about her attacking him in a dispute over bullying.

Piner-Olivet school officials said they hired a private investigator to look into the May 16 incident involving Delia Garcia-Bratcher, 30, who is alleged to have grabbed the boy’s throat in a campus confrontation.

The investigator, Chris Reynolds, found that despite her claims, Garcia-Bratcher did touch the boy’s neck, leaving four imprints that were later photographed by school officials.

The attack was witnessed by two students standing nearby, he said.

Reynolds found that another student who had said the boy injured himself was not credible. He said that witness had varying accounts of where and when the self-injury occurred and offered a description of the act that did not match the injuries.

Also, Reynolds found the witness was a “best friend” of Garcia-Bratcher’s son, casting doubt on his honesty.

“The student was not credible regarding where and how the alleged self-infliction took place or where the injuries were located on the neck,” according to a written statement from Superintendent Jennie Snyder.

Snyder did not provide a copy of the investigative report. The cost of the investigation was not disclosed.

She did not respond to requests to discuss the findings.

Garcia-Bratcher’s lawyer, Ben Adams, questioned the significance. He said there are always conflicting witness accounts of what happened.

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