A follow-up to the racially-tinged assault of Sarah Kreager on a Baltimore bus. The judge in the case ruled five students guilty yesterday:
A Baltimore juvenile court judge found five Robert Poole Middle School students responsible yesterday in the December attack on a city bus passenger and her boyfriend, concluding a divisive case fraught with racial overtones.
Judge David W. Young’s decision followed nearly two months of court hearings on the Dec. 4 fight in Hampden, described by several 911 callers as a riot. The attack prompted stricter safety standards on city buses and left Sarah Kreager, 26, with two broken bones around her left eye.
Nine black teens were initially accused of “rising up en masse” and attacking Kreager on the No. 27 bus after school had let out for the day.
Defense attorneys argued that Kreager’s left eye was already bruised when she boarded the bus and that when the students began snickering at her, Kreager’s boyfriend, Troy Ennis, ordered her “to spit on them [racial slur].”
But prosecutors said the youths attacked Kreager, who is white, after her boyfriend accused one of them of immaturity for refusing to relinquish an empty seat.
“We’re pleased the judge was able to reach justice and that Sarah Kreager and Troy Ennis have been vindicated,” Janet Hankin, the lead prosecutor in the case, said after the hearing. “This was a brutal, vicious and unnecessary beating, and what the respondents accused them of was untrue, unfair and uncalled for.”
Will they learn their lesson? Read the last line of the article:
…in the end, it was one of the accused’s own statements to police that captured the hatred the students felt for Kreager, Hankin argued.
Police asked one of the boys, a 15-year-old, how he felt about “the victims being assaulted? One being in the hospital?”
The boy replied, “I don’t feel no … I don’t feel nothing.”
Kreager has had a hard life. Her face has healed and she’s trying to rebuild.
In interrogation rooms, detectives faced off against recalcitrant children as young as 14 who remained defiant even as interrogators threatened them with adult charges and warned that their friends might be giving them up in a room next door.
One 14-year-old boy repeatedly told a Maryland Transit Administration Police sergeant that he saw the fight on the No. 27 bus in Hampden but couldn’t name the people involved.
“They go to my school, but I don’t hang with them,” he said after the officer insinuated that he was lying because the boy refused to make eye contact.
“You know the guys you catch the bus with all the time,” the sergeant said. “You see their faces all the time. Even if you don’t know their last names, you know their first names. Is it that you don’t want to tell me, is that it?”
The boy answered: “No, I ain’t going to put them out there like that.”
Hundreds of pages of documents obtained by The Sun recount police interviews in which the Robert Poole Middle School students accused in the December attack on Sarah Kreager and her boyfriend, Troy Ennis, tried to stonewall authorities.
Girls told stories that didn’t match, and at one point, while they were in a holding cell, a city police officer watched them mimic the beating they were accused of carrying out — laughing as they threw kicks and punches into the air.