Note: This article contains graphic content.

Nine-year-old Romeo Smith was outside his house when mom, Natasha Smith, noticed he was not coming in.

According to Yahoo 7 News, the mom from Nottinghamshire, England went to see what the problem was and learned her autistic son was being bullied by three boys who ran away when they saw her come outside.

After going back inside the home, Natasha realized Romeo was not in house. Discovering her husband wasn’t in the house anymore either, she assumed he had gone after him.

Screenshot/Yahoo 7 News

And Romeo wasn’t home— he was hiding from the bullies who had returned.

Romeo’s father, Craig Smith, had just found his son and convinced him to climb down from the tree, despite the bullies still being present.

Craig told BBC:

“As Romeo was walking away one of the lads came running up behind him and threw a bit of wood with a nail in it. I saw it just stuck there, in the back of his head, and then Romeo started screaming and running towards me.”

Screenshot/Yahoo 7 News

The boy had been impaled by a nail sticking out of the board, ramming it into his skull so hard the nail stuck.

The father rushed his son to his wife, Natasha, who is a nurse, before the couple took their son to the hospital. According to Metro, the mother described seeing her son when the bullies were done with him:

“It was terrible. He was sat there waiting with a plank of wood sticking to his head — like something out of a horror film.”

Natasha explained Romeo’s autism can make his feelings difficult to read, but she could tell he was scared after having the nail pierce through his head:

“It is always hard to tell what Romeo is feeling due to his condition. But he was really traumatised at the time — not knowing what was happening and having a plank of wood and a nail sticking to his head.”

Romeo was indeed terrified, admitting that “I thought the worst, and thought that I was dying.”

Screenshot/Yahoo 7 News

The 9-year-old sat in the hospital with the board still attached to his head, with blood pouring down, until doctors were able to remove it.

Natasha was unaware that her autistic child was being bullied:

“And this has been happening and he hasn’t even told me about it — I just feel I wouldn’t be able to let him out because it could happen again and he probably wouldn’t mention it.”

Now she knows her son was being picked on by kids that were bold enough to throw a board at his head with his father watching, but she does not want his attackers punished for their sick actions toward her child:

Natasha explained:

“With autism everything is heightened so he was very anxious about it. We do not want these boys in trouble with the law because they are just kids.”

She does think “something” should be done, blaming the torment her son was put through on summer is another “example of how boredom during the summer holidays can go a bit far.”

Screenshot/Yahoo 7 News

Nottinghamshire Police are still investigating the board-throwing incident, but they seem to be in agreement with Romeo’s mother. They said in a statement:

We recognise that children sometimes do things without considering the consequences or the seriousness of their actions. In cases such as this, where genuine remorse is shown and there is an understanding of the consequences of their actions, we try to mediate between both parties to avoid progressing down the criminal justice route.

Screenshot/Yahoo 7 News

The bullied boy had the nail removed, was bandaged up, and sent home with a round of antibiotics to heal with his parents and his three other siblings.

Editor’s note: This piece has been edited after publication.

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