Police Investigating Beating Of Southern Utah Teen Caught On Camera
WASHINGTON CITY, Utah – A brutal attack that was caught on cell phone video and circulated by teenagers is at the core of an investigation involving a 15-year-old, who now faces aggravated assault charges.
The victim’s parents said it’s an extreme case of bullying and they want change.
Officials with the Washington County School District wouldn’t comment on the case other than to say it’s under investigation and they can’t confirm it fits the criteria for bullying. Regardless, the video is graphic.
Sources said the teenagers know each other but don’t attend the same school. The attack happened in the Crimson Cliffs High School parking lot just after school got out on March 5.
WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO A brutal attack at Crimson Cliffs High School in southern Utah is under investigation. The school district says they don't know yet if this is bullying. Parents say the video speaks for itself. More on @KSL5TV at 10. pic.twitter.com/ksi6Vzpdxs
— Debbie Worthen (@DebbieWorthen) March 31, 2021
Security footage shows the attack, which happened in two rounds, with the victim never fighting back. The video shows another teenager getting a cell phone to record the second part, which goes on longer than the first, as the aggressor punches the boy in the head another seven times as he lay on the ground.
The victim suffered a severe concussion, along with other cuts and bruises.
Chief Jason Williams with the St. George Police Department said the main aggressor faces aggravated assault charges. However, the teenager isn’t in juvenile detention due to new laws that change the way juveniles are charged, convicted and prosecuted.
Additionally, other teenagers implicated in the beating could face charges too.
“If there are other parties involved, then we will be screening charges the same way that we are screening with the primary aggressor here,” Williams said. “Those videos do lead us into a direction that we look closer at. Our challenge right now is that most of these witnesses are juveniles; also, most of them have fear of if they become targets.”
The Washington County School District released this statement to KSL-TV:
“We are actively investigating this situation to ensure the safety of the victim, and we are cooperating with the Washington City Police Department. In situations that involve such violent behavior and aggression, our administrators will investigate using the District’s bullying and safe schools policies as guides, to determine appropriate steps to take and determine if bullying was involved.
“While we cannot speak to specifics on this case, we can assure parents that we have and will continue to take appropriate actions and hold accountable anyone involved with the necessary consequences to ensure a safe environment for our students in our school buildings.”
Police said they are looking for additional witness testimony and say there is no place for bullying.
“This is a sad case. We want to encourage any other witnesses, any other parties that have information on this case or any other cases that involve school violence or bullying to come forward,” Williams said.
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