Police: Teen Tried to Kill Mom for Taking His iPhone

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MAHANOY TOWNSHIP -- An apparent fight over an iPhone landed a mother in the hospital and her teenage son in jail.

Investigators in Schuylkill County believe a 15-year-old boy tried to kill his mother after she tried to take his iPhone from him. The injuries to the mother were bad enough that she was taken to a hospital.

Police have filed attempted homicide charges against Joseph Grutza, 15, and the teen from just outside Mahanoy City is charged as an adult after investigators say he tried to kill his mother for wanting to take his iPhone.

Grutza was pounding his head against a wall as his mother lay on the floor, struggling to breathe and speak. That's what Mahanoy Township's police chief says he found when he arrived at the home around 9 p.m. Monday along Mahanoy City Road.

The boy's father was outside yelling, "He's beating his mother! I don't know what to do with him!"

Inside, the chief reports the house was torn apart. When Grutza's mother Kymberly was able to speak she told the chief it all started when she told her son she was going to take his iPhone.

"He grabbed me and bit me on my back. He then started beating me and took the rope from my robe and placed it around my neck and started suffocating me.

"He then placed his hands around my windpipe and kept repeating, 'I'm going to kill you!'"

"From what we gathered, she wanted to talk to him about his iPhone and look at it," said Mahanoy Township Police Chief Brandon Alexander. "That's how it all started."

Kymberly Grutza was taken to the hospital.

Joseph Grutza is charged as an adult. He's in the Schuylkill County Jail, unable to post the $150,000 bail.


  • sick of drunk mothers

    @EMMALEE Who in their right minds puts their hands on their mother…

    a case of beer a day while I was chained to the crib, warm beer under her bed, drank it warm, stabbed me, busted my head numerous times to get stitches, had me put away in juvenile detention because she was an alcoholic & it was my fault, had to go to counseling to see what was the matter with me, but no one looked at her problem

    to answer your question, I did

    I’m glad she is dead, she was a horrible person to live with, the drunken slob, useless piece of crap

  • disgusted

    I can honestly not believe some of the comments that are being posted. I don’t know the family, I am not even from the area. However, I would like to say that yes it is a terrible thing that happened. It does not matter who bought the phone or paid for the phone. Yes you can get an IPhone as a pay as you go phone but what relevance does that have to a boy attempting to kill his mother? You all need to keep your opinions to yourselves. You don’t know what kind of issues the family had. As for people that know that family or are friends of that boy, shame on you for putting any of the families personal information online. Everyone of you should go volunteer helping children with special needs or do some research on behavior of troubled children before you go running your mouth online about someone else’s life because I’m sure if your identities were exposed not one of you are perfect with a perfect life. Stop being nosy and judgmental about things you know NOTHING about.

    • NEPA Antifa

      Why won’t you question weather the mother provoked him on several occasions before?
      Does anyone really know what kind of household this kid lives in?
      The mom might not exactly be a nice person herself.

      • Sam

        Regardless of what happened he tried to kill his mother. The kid is 15, that’s old enough to know better. You just said yourself no body really knows what kind of household he lives in. Maybe the mom is an nice as can be and the kids a brat? Nobody knows for sure. But again I repeat: regardless of the situation he tried to kill her. 15 is old enough to know right from wrong.

      • lol

        Lol it would be a perfect world if everyone behaved properly and could control their impulses and anger. unfortunately in this so called great country, mental health treatment is very limited especially in the state of PA. Not everyone can get the proper help they need, when they need it , providing they even realize they need the help, let alone get properly diagnosed by actual qualifying doctors. Did you know once a child is 14 years old in Pennsylvania, they can make THEIR OWN mental health decisions WITHOUT A PARENT OR GUARDIAN. If a child under 14 has his or her therapist and tells that therapist he or she feels like pounding someone, that therapist cannot tell,anyone including the PARENT because of privacy as well as that child’s age. How wonderful it must be to think a child wants to be a monster and act like this. sometimes front line complex in the brain are not developed properly or there has been prior head trauma , which can lead to anger, impulses and rage. it does not take a rocket scientist or a psychiatrist to figure out he needs cognitive behavior therapy, anger management courses, and love. Jail is a joke for it is to HOUSE criminals and offenders. It does not rehab them or help them medically. Your utopia is quite special. Please come back to reality

      • lol

        Correction : over 14 years old with a therapist, the therapist does not have to tell the PARENT or guardian what is going on with the child. Psychiatrists will pull the kid /over 14/ in alone for a quick 10 minute check up WITHOUT the PARENT. a 14 year old barely knows what they want to do with their lives when they get older, yet the government thinks anyone over 14 years of age knows what’s best for their mental health? Sickening.

  • EmmaLee

    I’m reading comments aboubt the phone being paid for by the “the Son” with “his own money” who worked in his “parents garage” (yes, I’m laughing)!! At 15, aren’t you to young to enter into a contract with Verizon/Att&T or any other carrier (Thanks Mom for adding me to your accont)…
    They can get a phone, the kind you buy your own minutes… and at that, I don’t think IPhones have buy as you go.
    Why can’t parents these days teach their kids that we don’t live our lives through electronics…. OH wait, the kids do live their lives through electronics. Instead of taking them outside or playing an old fashioned board game, camping, etc… they hand them an electronic to keep them busy.

    • NEPA Antifa

      The contract may be under the guise of somebody else’s name, but that doesn’t mean he is not paying for it out of his own money.

      • EmmaLee

        Yes, Mom & Dad are footing the bill if he is so called “working in his Dad’s garage”. Does it even matter that he is not old enough to enter into any kind of contract, even if it’s not with his parents. I am taking it you are a “friend”. It’s sad, that children these days think everything in a necessity in their lives. Things like iPhones should be a privilege, not a necessity. If a parent thinks their child needs a phone, then why not a phone you buy minutes…. Do they need to be a smart phone? I think not.

      • EmmaLee

        Ya know what… Put aside the fact of who bought the phone. Who in their right minds puts their hands on their mother… No matter what the excuse is!!

      • NEPA Antifa

        Last I checked, that is a legal age to work.

        Even still he could be working under the table doing things like cutting lawns.

  • now isn't that special

    the mom has a control problem, maybe the father wanted her dead for her cheating ways
    hopefully she didn’t get her gastric bypass ruptured

  • Evgeni

    So why is he being charged as an adult if he isn’t being treated like one otherwise?

    If that phone was really his, what gives the mother the right to rob it from him?

    Sounds to me that previous disagreements built up to this, it wasn’t spontaneous.

  • No News Here

    Some family. Nice father. Wimp. First off, my son would never even consider doing this to his mother because we taught him discipline and respect right from the start, however, I guarantee you that if this was my son strangling his mother, I would not be outside screaming like a little nerd. He doesn’t know what to do with him? He’s 15. How about pulling him off of your wife, restrain him until the authorities arrive, and then coordinate an appropriate treatment plan? Just a thought.

    • parent

      If this child is TRULY is on the Autism spectrum it doesn’t matter how much disciple and love you instill in your child as they grow up. Aggression, outburst and meltdowns occur and when they do, especially in a child of his age and size, its a scary situation. They (the child) are unaware at the time of what they are doing and the strength they have during these meltdowns comes out of no where, so maybe in that situation the father was scared and didn’t know what to do. This area and our society are so quick to judge and blame the parents, and the ones to blame are usually the uneducated ones that have no clue about how severe and difficult it is to raise a child on the spectrum. I’m the mother of an Autistic son who has violent meltdowns, gets very aggressive and IS raised in a house with rules, morals and lots of love! PS….my son is 12, 6ft and 165lbs so by the time he is 15 I doubt his dad will have the strength to restrain him, god forbid something like this were to happen.

      • lol

        PARENT : if I had the time to give your comment a 1000 likes, I would. Thank god for someone with brains and logic thinking, as well as intelligence, real perspective and compassion.

  • NoHillary2016

    Oh here we go the kid is going to be said to have autism and everything under the sun ,how about we face the fact, it isn’t any disease, it’s the shear fact of bad parenting, And by the sounds of it the father was up for seeing his wife killed , perhaps this is what they wanted. All too often excuses are made to cover the real facts just ask hillary she’s living proof when she let our people be slaughtered in Benghazi

  • Me

    So after all that nonsense, in the end, he didn’t get to keep his iPhone and he got a new buddy for the next 5-10

    Over a telephone. Kids today are just so spoiled rotten.
    I seriously wonder why this child wasn’t corralled at a younger age and taught manners and respect. To try and kill his mother ?
    I sure hope she doesn’t drop the charges

  • Flandre

    The mother lunged aggressively at him. She claims it was to get his phone, but assault is assault and the poor kid has a right to stand his ground. Why isn’t the mother being charged? Attempted assault, and attempted theft. Poor kid is gonna get ruined in the system because of the crimes and pathetic actions of his mother.

    • john_q_taxpayer

      Parents can lunge at their child and spank them or discipline them. That’s being a parent.

      • hi.

        It was actually the sons money and the sons phone. He bought it with the money he made that his dad gave him for helping him at his gas station.he bought it after his mother shut the one she was paying for off. I hope the full story gets out. I hope they let him go and he looks his mother in the eyes and tells her not to talk to him. She had him sent away for 2 years for the same thing she’s gonna ruin his life before it starts

    • A concerned

      It was his money my heart breaks for that young child with parents like he has it’s a wonder he is the way he is they all have a history of violence in that family since they have lived there

      • Hewhohasanear

        it was HIS money who lives in HER house !! He’s 15 for heaven’s sake if you don’t follow the HOUSE RULES SOMETIMES even things YOU’VE earned YOURSELF may be forfeited AT 15. WHY should a 15 Year old have a $300 PHONE ANYWAY to go with the other extravagant items KIDS have today … if not her then someone else would’ve received that rage … at least he will learn discipline if he had none along with LACK and appreciation for what he once had. If you don’t like your parents AT 15 …. your wonderful PT job and iphone with $100 monthly service fees should help you emancipate yourself !! Get your own living space …food….insurance… healthcare…. schooling and keep stepping ! Divorce papers would be at the gas station waiting to be signed !!! ijs

  • ...

    If you don’t know the family personally, I suggest you keep your negative comments and opinions to yourself.

  • June

    We used to go to the same school but different grades I never taught he would ever do this how ashamed

  • Johnson

    I’m willing to bet this kid may be in the Autism Spectrum. Either that or he’s a junior sociopath with deep rooted issues that go way back.

    • Good for you

      You must have poor impulse control too. Anyone, in their right mind, would sell the phone, rather than burning their money.

  • Dawn

    I take it the guy who was yelling he’s beating his mother is not his father. But either way he still could have, and should have stopped him. As far as what this spoiled little punk did to his own mother its despicable! This woman gave you life, cared for you, provided for you, and bought and paid the monthly bill for his iPhone and this is the thanks he gives her?!? This kid clearly has mental problems and issues with violence. He needs help and punishment at the same time

  • jake

    Why didn’t the guy take a bat and break his legs? He’s outside on the phone calling the police? WOW… And just wondering why wnep posted a picture of a juvenile? And why is there a bullet proof vest on him?

    • Jen

      That’s not a bulletproof vest. If the police feel you’re a suicide risk, they’ll take away your clothes (since you could rip them up to use them to hang yourself) and give you the one piece thing he’s wearing in the picture (which isn’t able to be ripped apart). And he’s being charged as an adult, which is why they’re showing his picture.

    • lewis

      His picture is shown because he was charged as an adult. and that is a protective jacket due to mental health issues, he will pay for that phone over and over.

    • Dawn

      He’s being charged as an adult so they are allowed to show his picture. As far as the vest, they sometimes do that when they feel someone might try to kill them for their crime.

  • John

    And look it???? Or Took it?? I think the writers at WNEP need to be choked for their lack of proof reading.. Horrible story tho and I hope the kid gets help!!

  • tiredofdysfunction

    Why didn’t the father stop his kid from beating the boy’s mother? To hell with getting in trouble..They could’ve both overpowered him! This kind of thing doesn’t happen over night. Either he’s been holding his parents hostage for awhile now, and/or it’s his psych meds gone haywire. Probably a combo of both. How they ever thought meth would calm kids with behavioral problems down I’ll never know..

    • Pumie Cat

      Why is he being charged as an adult? The boy is 15 with raging hormones. NOT an adult. Evidenced by becoming obsessed with a phone and acting like a 2 year old in a 15 year old body. Family court.

      • tiredofdysfunction

        Beeeecase…”a 15-year-old boy tried to KILL his mother after she tried to take his iPhone from him. Raging hormones is not an excuse for attempted murder every time someone pisses you off!
        Factors that might lead a court to grant a waiver petition and transfer a juvenile case to adult court include:
        •The juvenile is charged with a particularly serious offense.
        •The juvenile has a lengthy juvenile record.
        •The minor is older.
        •Past rehabilitation efforts for the juvenile have been unsuccessful.
        •Youth services would have to work with the juvenile offender for a long time.

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