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CHAMPAIGN — Champaign police are convinced that a 10-year-old girl injured at Dr. Howard Elementary School earlier this week accidentally cut herself on a lock for a restroom stall door.

A release from police spokesman Tom Yelich on Friday afternoon capped off a week of interviews that police conducted with the girls who were in the bathroom. All are students at Dr. Howard, which is temporarily housed in the old Columbia School at Bradley and Neil streets in north Champaign.

Unit 4 spokesman: Play-fight injury in Dr. Howard restroom 'accidental'

Yelich said police were first notified Monday that there was a child at Carle Foundation Hospital with a serious cut to her abdomen.

Following a blowout on social media, the incident was assigned to detectives who interviewed the children involved, looked at surveillance video and talked to other witnesses, all while continuing to receive conflicting accounts of what may have happened.

After all that was completed, police determined the girl was injured when she collided with a "locking device" on a bathroom stall door. She and the other girls had been in the bathroom engaged in "voluntary playful but aggressive behavior," police concluded.

There was no indication of bullying, a malicious attack or a weapon being involved, as had been suggested through social-media reports, police said.

Yelich reminded the public that police take reports seriously and need time to check them out thoroughly.


Mary Schenk is a reporter covering police, courts and breaking news at The News-Gazette. Her email is, and you can follow her on Twitter (@schenk).