Lincoln HS coach faces suspension after helping student who ran away due to emotional struggles

Teen runs away after family with sick mother evicted from home

EASTPOINTE, Mich. – The mother of a teenager who was seen in a viral video being beaten and forced into a pickup truck at an Eastpointe gas station talked about what was really happening in the video.

Police initially thought the teenager was being abducted, but announced Monday night it wasn't the case.

The teen's mother said it was an attempt to save her son, who had so much on his plate he couldn't deal with it. Meanwhile, the coach at his high school might face disciplinary action for going to save one of his players.

Mother says family was evicted

The mother said the teen was evicted from his home, his mother was sick and his father hasn't been seen in years, so he decided to run away from it all.

Body slam caught on video

Bystanders were paralyzed with shock as a truck pulled up to the Eastpointe gas station, and the person who got out body slammed the 15-year-old and shoved him in the truck.

Heather Durham and her sons have fallen on hard times. She has stage-three ovarian cancer and they were evicted from their home because she can't work.

Family living in motel

A charity has paid for them to live at a Warren motel for 11 days, so everything they have is crammed into the room.

"The things I'm going through here isn't what a kid usually goes through, you know," Durham said.

Her son, Oliver, couldn't take it and took off wandering in the streets all night.

Oliver is a freshman at Lincoln High School, where he's the starting quarterback for the varsity football team. His coach was the only person who reached out to him that he responded to.

His coach picked him up and brought two of his closest friends. The person who body slammed him is his godbrother, who was upset with him, and now the school district is talking about suspending the coach.

"Don't worry about it, I should be good," the coach texted Oliver. "I just need you on the right track. I love you like a son."

Oliver is home with his mother, and grateful for the people who loved him enough to put their own necks on the line.

"When we lost everything, it got to Oliver," Durham said. "It got to him deeply. It doesn't excuse for what he did, but emotionally, he couldn't stand just being here."

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About the Authors:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.