Four teenagers charged in Southwest High School beating
Four juvenile Minneapolis males were charged with burglary and riot for going into Southwest High School and beating a student there in late January, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Tuesday.
Three 17-year-olds and a 16-year-old were charged by juvenile petition and a juvenile court judge will determine if they will be tried as adults.
“I think everyone would agree that all of our children deserve to have a safe school environment in which to learn,” Freeman said. “In this case, several teenagers who did not attend this school found a way to get in, disrupt a class and injure a student and a teacher. We decided to charge these four with burglary because it has tougher penalties than the lower-level assault charges.”
According to the petition, there is only one door that is open during school hours and visitors sign in there and receive a visitor’s badge. However, the four teenagers appeared to have somehow gotten into the school through a door locked to the outside. A teacher told police that he was beginning his fifth hour chemistry class on Jan. 22 when he saw what he thought were students in the hall trying to get the attention of someone in his class, so he shut the door.
Several minutes later, the four youths opened the door and ran directly at a student sitting in the back of the room. They were yelling at him and began punching and kicking him. The teacher tried to break it up and was hit and also had his little finger broken, the petition states. Eventually, the victim broke free and ran out of the classroom. At that point, the four intruders also fled.
School personnel were able to follow the young men and last saw them when they boarded a Metro Transit bus at W. 47th Street and Xerxes Avenue South. Police obtained video from the bus and school resource officers were able to identify the intruders. All of them attended other Minneapolis schools, according to the petition.
One of the young men said he had an argument on Facebook with the victim and went to Southwest to fight him, the petition states.
James Criminal Petition (PDF)
Jones Criminal Petition (PDF
Kennedy Criminal Petition (PDF)
Turner Criminal Petition (PDF)