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How a bullied victim and his dad became a rallying cry for others

A father arrested after defending his son from a bully is still amazed at all the support he received nearly a month after the District Attorney in Brooklyn dropped the charges against him.

Hundreds turned out for a rally on behalf of Ting Duo Lei, 52, and his 13-year-old son on September 30.

The dad had been arrested after a man showed up at his home looking for his son. Two days earlier Lei said the man had assaulted his son on a basketball court over a disagreement on that court between Lei’s son and the son of the other man, Hassan Saab.

The two dads got into a scuffle and police arrived to arrest both men.

RELATED: Father arrested for protecting 13-year-old son from assault

Some 500 people, mostly from the Chinese community, rallied in support of Lei on October 11.

According to Documented, Saab faces 14 counts of assault, menacing and harassment charges. Charges were dropped against Lei on November 2.

“Getting bullied is our shared life experience, and we have witnessed it happening again and again without effective intervention from schools or the Department of Education. It’s time for us to step up and say ‘Enough is enough!” said Yifang Chen about why so many wanted to rally behind Lei.

“I feel like parents felt so strongly about rallying and speaking up because we saw ourselves,” Yiatin Chu, the president of the Asian Wave Alliance, said to Documented. “It was just a very ordinary type of thing that can happen to anyone. And if we don’t do something, we’re going to be next, or our friend or our neighbor could be next.”

Now that charges have been dropped against Lei, some are pushing for Saab to face hate crime charges.

“We would like to thank the parents and community organizations and community leaders for their overwhelming support,” the Lei family said to Brooklyn Paper. “We also want to thank our spokesperson Karlin Chan for helping us during this difficult time and understanding the legal system.”

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