Monday, June 09, 2008

Bus Camera Catches Mob Attack on Teen


MILWAUKEE -- Four teenagers have been arrested, accused in a mob beating that was caught on tape on a county bus in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke said the attack was similar to what happened to Charlie Young, a man who was beaten to death by 15 young men in 2002.

The victim in this attack is going to be fine, but Clarke said the video should be a wakeup call to the county board and the school the suspects attend.

The video shows a 15-year-old student from St. Charles alternative school being attacked by at least five of his classmates.

As the boys, 15 and 16 years old, punched and kicked the boy, others on the bus gathered close. One of them climbed up on the overhead hand rails for a better look.

Clarke said the tape of the beating, which happened last Thursday, turned up in a review of security incidents on the transit system. He said the transit security contractor, Wackenhut, should have informed police right away.

He said he also blamed the school, which caters to students expelled for behavior problems in other schools. Clarke said this is just one of 30 documented incidents on buses this year involving students at St. Charles.

"They are a menace. These anti-social, undisciplined criminal males have been placed at St. Charles because they have been kicked out of mostly (Milwaukee public schools) because their disruptive behavior is not compatible with an orderly environment necessary for learning," Clarke said.

Some bus riders agreed that more needs to be done to beef up bus security in light of this beating and the recent beating of a bus driver in which the prime suspect was also a St. Charles student.

"I've seen a lot of swearing on the bus, arguing, bus drivers not taking any chances to tell them to be quiet. There's a lot of things on the bus that shouldn't be and a lot of kids are getting away with it and they shouldn't," bus passenger Demitrice Harmon said.

Four of the five suspects have been arrested and deputies are tracking down the fifth, police said. They have not yet been charged.

The victim had only minor injuries, authorities said.