Teen Brutally Beaten In Possible Anti-LGBT Hate Crime

An Orange County, Florida eighth grade student was attacked and beaten just blocks from his middle school in an incident that was captured on film, a local news affiliate reported on Tuesday. The incident itself reportedly took place last Thursday.

The student’s mother says that her son, who is 16 years old, has been “questioning his sexuality,” and she doesn’t know whether or not that’s the reason that he was targeted. The student’s headphones and baseball cap were stolen, making untangling the motives for the assault difficult.

Six teenagers attacked the victim, and the victim’s mother says that videos of the assault were being shared at the boy’s school. The victim’s mother also says that the videos show that the attack was pre-planned, with “the [attackers] walking down the sidewalk several seconds before the beating began.” As Central Florida’s Channel 6 News goes on to note, “The victim’s mother said the video proves the attackers were looking for their target and knew what they were about to do.”

Orange County Public Schools Media Relations Specialist Lorena Hitchcock offered the following comments on the situation:

‘We are aware of an altercation that occurred off campus involving several of our students. We’re also aware of the video and a full investigation is underway. This is still an open investigation. No further details are available at this time.’

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office is reportedly “involved and waiting on details of the incident report taken at the scene.”

As for the victim’s condition, he was apparently in the hospital as of this past Tuesday, and his mother told local media that he was “bruised so badly he cannot sleep.”

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