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Family Accused Of Cyber Bullying Apologizes For Dad's Reaction

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The family of the Prior Lake father who is accused of retaliating in the wake of his kids' alleged cyber bullying has responded to the national attention the incident has attracted.

Recently, Brad Knudson posted a video on YouTube to show people how his 14-year-old daughter was being bullied via Snapchat, a social media app that sends pictures and video that are only available for a short time before being deleted.

Two kids sent Knudson's daughter a video calling her nasty names and using racial slurs. However, it was a voicemail message from the father of those kids that got the social media network's attention.

On Friday, the family of Deron Puro, the man who left the voicemail, issued a statement, saying that there is "no excuse" for how he acted, and "nothing can take back the words he said to Brad Knudson."

The family explained that Puro is currently in detox, and will soon be heading to rehab to deal with "his addiction with alcohol and prescription pills."

They added that, due to the threats his children have received, they have been relocated out of state with family until further notice.

The Puro family also said that they have apologized to Knudson's daughter and she has accepted their apology.

What follows is the entire statement issued by the Puro family:


In regards to the recent occurrences between the Knudson and Puro families, we, the family of Deron Puro, would like to offer our deepest apologies. The Puro family is not racist, nor do we use the "N" word lightly in our household. What happened was very unfortunate for both families, and we hope each family can heal and move on from this.

There is no excuse for how Deron Puro acted, and nothing can take back the words he said to Brad Knudson.

Deron's currently in detox, and on his way to rehab to address his addiction with alcohol and prescription pills. When Deron left voicemails on Brad's phone he was under the influence. Deron has been battling severe depression and was prescribed pills in hopes that they would help him. We are now aware that he has been abusing them. Because of him being under the influence he was speaking irrational and does not remember leaving any voicemails on Brads Knudson's phone. This, of course, is no excuse for what he said to Brad. The Puro family is sincerely sorry for Deron's actions and does not condone this type of behavior. Alcohol addiction is a real disease and we are glad he is seeking help.

Deron has recently become aware of his actions and is sincerely sorry for how he acted. He understands that what he did was uncalled for and is unforgivable. He just hopes that the Knudson family can heal and be able to move on from the hurtful things he said and the pain he has caused.

Due to terroristic threats the children have been relocated out of state with family, until further notice. They express their sincere apologies to everyone involved; especially Brads daughter. The children have sent messages apologizing to her, and she stated "what happens in 2014, stays in 2014," and accepted their apology. We believe that the children should no longer be a part of this and that they should be able to try to start to put their lives back together. All kids make mistakes. The Puro family is doing everything in its power to get Deron the help he needs.

Thank you to all of our family and friends who are aware of Deron's addiction. We appreciate all of your support and prayers.


WCCO talked with the Knudson family Friday about the aftermath of their viral video, and its effect on the Puro family.

"It is the most upsetting thing to our entire family," Brad Knudson said. "That wasn't our intentions. We didn't think any of that would happen."

Knudson says the bullying of the Puro family goes against everything for which they stand.

"We are trying to prevent bullying and racism and people are trying to defend us by using bullying, and it is just a perpetual cycle and it has to stop," he said.

The Knudsons say they want to start a non-profit to help deal with issues around bullying.


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