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Mom wants more severe charges in machete attack on her 9-year-old son

Posted at 3:32 AM, May 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-14 03:34:03-04

COVINGTON, Ky. — “If my baby would’ve turned 2 inches, it would’ve taken his neck off,” said the mother of a 9-year-old boy who ran for his life from a machete-swinging attacker.

Alicia Haywood said the attack on Friday was that close to being deadly. Haywood said her son has a gash 3 inches deep near his right shoulder blade.

She is angry that the accused attacker, Esteban Portugues, is not facing attempted murder charges.

“You bringing a machete to a fight, you’re not trying to hurt someone, you’re trying to kill him,” Haywood said after watching Portugues’ video arraignment on second-degree assault Monday. Portugues is also being detained on an immigration charge.

“The charges are ridiculous. If I was to do that to someone, I would be in way more severe trouble than what he is. He got second degree for trying to kill my kid.”

Haywood said she believes the stabbing was premeditated.

Police say Portugues and two other men approached Haywood’s son and two other juveniles - ages 13 and 16 – while they were playing in Father Hanses Park about 9 p.m. Friday.

Witnesses told police they saw Portugues waving the machete in the air and hitting it on the ground.

“They chased him from the park. They got like four houses from my house. The one was throwing rocks at my son’s feet trying to trip him," Haywood said.

“They cut his blood vessel that went from his heart to his lung. We’re trying to get the charges brought up to attempted murder by leaving here and getting the paperwork.”

Portugues faces five to 10 years in prison if convicted of second-degree assault. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for May 21.