The lawyer for a Santa Rosa mother accused of choking her daughter's alleged bully said Thursday that his client is being lauded as an international "folk hero."
A Sonoma County Sheriff's deputy arrested Delia Garcia-Bratcher on Saturday on one felony charge of inflicting injury on a child, accusing the 30-year-old of leaving red marks on the boy's throat when she came onto an elementary school campus Friday.
But her attorney Ben Adams said Garcia-Bratcher acted as any mother would, after a boy at Olivet Elementary Charter School in Santa Rosa allegedly bullied her daughter last week.
Garcia-Bratcher made her first court appearance Thursday with Adams and supporters by her side. She was due to be formally charged with a felony this morning but the case was postponed to June 19.
"She never laid hands on this boy -- that must be made clear," Adams said. "She did ask him to stop bullying her daughter."
Adams later called Garcia-Bratcher "mother of the year."
"She did nothing wrong," he told reporters outside the courthouse. "Her daughter was being bullied, and she confronted the bully. What is wrong with that?"
Adams said he had evidence that would exonerate his client and that the boy had probably lied about her putting her hands on his throat.
"I'll be providing that to the District Attorney in due course and hopefully they won't charge her with anything," he said.
Garcia-Bratcher said in an interview with the Santa Rosa Press Democrat Monday that the boy had called her daughter a "dirty Indian" and that she spoke to him about the name-calling on Friday.
Garcia-Bratcher "adamantly denies" ever having grabbed the fifth-grader by the throat, Adams said. He said that Garcia-Bratcher told the boy to stop behaving like a brat and to stop tormenting her daughter. Now, Adams said, people from all over the world are applauding her for standing up for her daughter.
Photo: Delia Garcia-Bratcher talks to supporters Thursday. Photo by Christie Smith.