Boston Police are investigating a possible “racially motivated” crime after a group of teenagers attacked a woman in the city’s downtown.
The group was reported to police after they were seen attacking two women in Downtown Crossing around 7 P.M. on April 19.
When law enforcement arrived at the scene, one of the victims said a group of girls called her a “white [expletive] with braids” who should not wear her hair in that style because she was “not black” before assaulting her. The girls allegedly punched and kicked the woman and pulled her by the hair.
Police noted in their report that the woman was “in distress and highly animated” and had an injury above her eye. The 19-year-old woman, who told police she identifies as Hispanic, was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital for treatment.
“Police then found the attackers nearby but were subjected to numerous assaults while attempting to apprehend the assailants,” reports Fox News. “One male suspect spit on an officer and began to ‘violently kick’ the doors of the police car, while another female suspect tried to free two of the attackers from a police car and assaulted the intervening officer with punches to the face while shouting, ‘What you wanna do? What you wanna do?'”
One suspect spat in the face of an arresting officer. Two suspects kicked and pulled the hair of other officers.
Witnesses told police that between 10 and 20 teenagers took part in the assault and estimate the youngest participant was 12 years old.
“There were at least 15 girls chasing after the woman on the bike, and they started pounding on her,” witness Christopher Jackson, who works at a nearby flower stand, told a local news station. “They got her down on the ground, and they were holding her down.”
“Her face was all red and scratched. She got up, and she looked like she didn’t know where she was,” said Jackson, adding that the attack appeared to be unprovoked.
Law enforcement has reported that the city’s District A-1 has had an increase in incidents involving teenagers including public fights, vandalism, aggravated assaults, civil rights violations, and storefront smashings.
In the same area, a group of teenagers assaulted an 81-year-old man eating a hamburger at a McDonald’s on March 21. Later that night, a group of teenagers began shouting “Black Lives Matter” inside Silvertone Bar after the staff refused to serve them alcohol. The teens reportedly spat in the face of bar employees and patrons and shattered the establishment’s glass door.
Five teenagers were arrested in connection to the Downtown Crossing attack. The Boston Police Department has said its Civil Rights Unit has been brought into the investigation.