Bullied 12-year-old hangs self in NYC

May 31, 2012 at 3:12 PM

NEW YORK, May 31 (UPI) -- A 12-year-old New York City boy hanged himself because bullies relentlessly teased him for being smart and short for his age, family members said.

Lizbeth Babilonia found her son, Joel Morales, dead Tuesday, hanging from the shower rod in their East Harlem apartment, the New York Post reported Thursday. He left no note.

A classmate told Morales' family the boy had complained to him hours before that he was fed up with being bullied -- the most recent taunt was about his dead father.

"He said that a bunch of kids from his old school jumped him and chased him," said Morales' aunt, Angelica Babilonia. "He would ignore them, but there were too many to fight back."

"I know in my heart it was bullying that made him do it," Morales' sister, Richeliss Salazar, told the New York Daily News.

Lizbeth Babilonia had her son transferred to a different school after four boys knocked on their apartment door and threw rocks and sticks at Morales when he answered, the Daily News reported.

"I want the kids who did this to pay," the aunt said. "I want God to teach them a lesson."

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