Four teens arrested after 15-year-old sprayed with cleaning products in ‘homophobic attack’
Four teens have been arrested after allegedly spraying a 15-year-old student with liquid cleaning products while hurling homophobic slurs at him.
The Loganville Police Department said that four teenagers had been charged in relation to attacks against a 15-year-old male classmate at Loganville High School in Georgia, CBS46 reported. Authorities alleged that the teens trapped the 9th grader into a bathroom closet for a lengthy amount of time and doused him with liquid cleaning products.
The police confirmed they are investigating two incidents which occurred on 23 and 31 March.
Police have charged a 17-year-old female, who has been identified as Kelsey Juliana Hayes, with one felony count of false imprisonment. According to CBS46, Hayes is being charged as an adult.
The other suspects have not been named at this time.
A 16-year-old is facing two felony counts of false imprisonment, one misdemeanour count of reckless conduct and a misdemeanour count of battery.
A 14-year-old faces one count of false imprisonment and one count of reckless conduct – party to a crime, both misdemeanours. Another 14-year-old suspect has been charged with two misdemeanour counts of false imprisonment – party to a crime and one misdemeanour count of reckless conduct – party to a crime.
The Loganville Police Department told CBS46 that the force takes allegations of “this nature with the utmost seriousness”.
“We do not tolerate bullying behaviour in any shape, form or fashion, for any reason, and I believe the charges made in this case reflect that stance,” the statement added.
Walton County School superintendent Nathan Franklin said in a statement to Fox 5 Atlanta that school leaders were only made aware of a “student incident that occurred before Spring Break at an after-school extracurricular activity”.
“Student safety is a top priority and school officials are investigating the incident and working with law enforcement officials to ensure the district’s code of conduct and legal charges are appropriately enforced,” Franklin said.
Jeff Graham, the executive director of LGBT+ rights group Georgia Equality, told CBS46 that the allegations of homophobic bullying were “troubling” and said the student that was “so violently attacked needs to be protected”.
“We don’t know the specifics of this student, but the allegations here in this police report are incredibly troubling, and this is the role that we as adults play in trying to tame this,” Graham said.
“It’s making sure that the sort of discriminatory, stigmatising and hateful rhetoric that has been so much in the news in the last few months, we must stop that.”