A 14-year-old white male has been formally charged with attempted murder, following allegations that he tried to drown a Black minor in what authorities believe was a racially motivated attack.
According to the Cape and Islands District Attorney’s Office, these charges were filed against the adolescent, whose identity remains undisclosed but is recognized by the court, for an incident that occurred on July 19 in Chatham, Massachusetts.
According to Galibois, the 14-year-old met with the victim, a Black boy, and another boy, who is white, at the pond on July 19. The defendant is accused of picking up a stone, threatening the victim with it and directing a racial slur at him shortly after they met up.
Galibois said that before the boys entered the pond, the victim put on his life jacket and informed the other boys that he could not swim. The three boys then entered the water together, and the defendant is accused of pulling on the victim’s life jacket and submerging him underwater about four to five times, causing him breathing distress. The third boy is accused of laughing at the victim during the attempted drowning and referred to him as “George Floyd.”
Prosecutors say the defendant then swam under the victim, trying to grab his feet to pull him back underwater.
When the victim yelled to someone on the beach for help, a bystander went into the water and helped him to the shore.
Following an investigation by the Chatham Police Department, the teen was indicted on charges of attempted murder and assault with a dangerous weapon. Prosecutors say he was found to be dangerous at a hearing Thursday in Barnstable Juvenile Court.
The defendant is being held without bail and is due back in court for a pretrial conference on Sept. 13, 2023.