A 17-year-old Romanian runaway, who is a ward of the state and attends Riverside-Brookfield High School, faces four counts of felony aggravated battery after he allegedly attacked a female classmate in a hallway at school on March 19 about 12:20 p.m.
According to police, the 6-foot-tall, 250-pound boy lives in Bellwood but was placed at Riverside-Brookfield High School. He allegedly attacked the female student after she broke off a friendship with the boy, who reportedly became angry at messages he read on social media and began to threaten the victim and another female over the Internet.
On March 19, the boy reportedly attacked one of the girls in a school hallway, slamming her head into the wall and floor. Teachers and security staff tried to subdue the boy, and a security guard and school staff member were injured during the struggle. According to police, the security guard and the female student were transported to Loyola University Medical Center for treatment of head and eye injuries and were released later that day.
Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel said the boy had run away from Romania to New York City in 2013. He was returned to his mother in Romania but ran away again, and made it to Chicago where he was named a ward of the state.
In addition to the criminal complaint against the boy, Riverside police filed a complaint with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, asking that the boy be prohibited from returning to Riverside-Brookfield High School in the future.
Separately, Riverside police on March 21 arrested a 16-year-old Chicago boy who reportedly made threats against students at RBHS on Facebook in the wake of the March 19 attack.
The Chicago boy reportedly is a friend of the alleged offender. On the night of the incident at RBHS, a student from Brookfield called police to alert them to a Facebook post stating, “We’re going to get five carloads of people and we’re going to come and shoot up students on sight.”
Officers from the West Suburban Directed Gang Enforcement (WEDGE) task force took the 16-year-old into custody on the street in the 1700 block of West Erie Street in Chicago.
He reportedly told police that he believed the RBHS student was being treated unfairly and that he made the Facebook threats to scare students and staff at RBHS. He said he never intended to follow through on the threats.
On Thursday, March 20, there was an additional police presence at the high school as a precaution.
Police charged the boy with felony disorderly conduct. Both cases have been turned over to Cook County Juvenile Justice authorities.