3 Teens Face Hate Crime Charges

The alleged attackers are accused of putting a noose on the victim, police say

By Jennifer Schwarz and Alex Perez
|  Thursday, Feb 2, 2012  |  Updated 5:16 PM CDT
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Update: Teens Charged with Hate Crime

Three teenagers face hate crime charges for an alleged December attack on a boy in a South Side home.

The attackers, white teens, allegedly put a noose around the neck another teen, who is black, threatened him with a knife and called him racially-charged names, police said.

 "Why something like this surfaces, I'm not real sure. I hope, maybe someday, we can find an answer," said Brother Rice High School principal Jim Antos.

At least one of the attackers, as well as the victim, are Brother Rice High School students.

The attack reportedly occurred Dec. 23 at one of the teen's home, on the 1600 block of West 100th Place, in the south side East Beverly neighborhood. The teen was eventually able to escape and was reportedly developing a relationship with a cousin of one of the attackers.

"He met her once earlier this year, and they had texted a couple of times and talked on Facebook," the victim's father told the Chicago Sun-Times, adding that he was "horrified" when he learned of the incident.

Equally shocked were school administrators, who said the attack goes against the values they try to impress upon the students.

"We teach our young men to respect all life, to respect one another, and there's a very clear message here: we're not going to tolerate it here at Brother Rice," said the school's president, Kevin Burns.

The accused teens range in age from 16 to 18. The eldest, Matthew Herrmann, of the 4200 block of West 126th Street, in Alsip, was charged as an adult with a hate crime, unlawful restraint and misdemeanor battery, police said.

The students were charged Jan. 10, police said.

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