The Bateman family is looking for answers this week after 15-year-old Cerillia was the victim of what police are calling an assault.
On Monday, around noon, Cerillia and two friends were walking along Elmira’s Industrial Drive towards McDonald’s for their lunch break. The two or more occupants of a black four-door sedan with silver rims (possibly a Honda or Mazda) threw a hot black coffee at the group, scalding the back of her head leaving what Marty, Cerillia’s mom, thinks are second degree burns.
According to Marty, the car drove past Cerillia and her friends on Monday, flipping the walking group an obscene hand gesture. One person in the group returned the gesture. The car turned around and threw a McDonald’s coffee cup out the window once they got close, hitting Cerillia in the back of the head.
To reach the burns for treatment, the family had to shave the back of her head.
“We noticed there was some oozing in the hair, so we shaved her head, and that is when we saw the burns there. I told her to go wash the hair off her neck and I could just hear screaming,” said Marty. “She had gotten into a cool shower, but just the water running across the burns was so painful, she was just standing in the shower screaming.”
Police are treating the incident as an assault, asking anyone with any information to come forward. The public is asked to call the Elmira detachment at 519-570-3000, ext. 6397.
Marty says she never expected anything like this to happen in Elmira.
“It is a small town, it got us away from where we were, it got us away from the Galt area, which was getting rough,” she said. “We moved out here, because it seemed safer. Less crime, less everything.”
She says there is one positive thing that has come out of the incident, however. The community has rallied around the Batemans, offering help wherever they can. Marty posted on social media about the incident, and so far, she says it has reached California. With over 100 comments, 200 ‘likes’ and hundreds of shares, she hopes someone will come forward.
“I am just hoping that someone has information or a tip about where these guys are, where they might be, who it is, anything they know. That way, these guys can be caught and understand how terrible this was. If nothing else, it will scare them and they will never pull something like this again,” she said. “The kids should be able to walk to McDonald’s for lunch and not worry about something like this happening. That is one of the reasons I came forward. Kids have enough things to be worried about these days. I have already had the conversation with her about strange men approaching her and things like that. I shouldn’t have to tell her to be worried every time a car drives by her.”