Friday, April 28, 2006

White teens accused of brutal racist attack: Hispanic boy left for dead

This is all so very tragic for all of the youth and families involved. Our nation's institutions--families, churches, and schools--need to search for ways to better educate our children on the subject of diversity--and specifically, on issues pertinent to immigration in historic and contemporary perspectives. To prevent the loss of even more lives, we need this now more than ever. -Angela

SPRING, Texas (AP) -- Two white teenagers severely beat and sodomized a 16-year-old Hispanic boy who they believed had tried to kiss a 12-year-old white girl at a party, authorities said.

The attackers forced the boy out of the house party, beat him and sodomized him with a metal pipe, shouting epithets "associated with being Hispanic," said Lt. John Martin with the Harris County Sheriff's Department.

They then poured bleach over the boy, apparently to destroy DNA evidence and left him for dead, authorities said. He wasn't discovered until Sunday, a day after the attack. (Watch how a neighbor described the victim's injuries -- 1:34)

The victim, who was not identified, suffered severe internal injuries and remained in critical condition Thursday.

Keith Robert Turner, 17, and David Henry Tuck, 18, are charged with aggravated sexual assault, investigators said. (Watch teens' acquaintances describe them -- 2:11)

Prosecutors are considering whether to attach hate-crime charges, but unless the victim dies, the possible penalty would be the same. If the boy dies and it is ruled a hate crime, the attackers could face the death penalty, authorities said.

The case has been turned over to the homicide division, Martin said, normal procedure in severe assault cases.

Authorities set bond at $100,000 for Turner and at $20,000 for Tuck.

Spring is a middle-class, largely white suburb of 36,000 residents, located about 10 miles north of the Houston city line.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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  1. I would only add one more comment to Angela's statement about this tragedy. PARENTS need to take some responsibility and guide their kids or be held responsible for the actions of their misguided youths.

  2. One more comment... Why were the amount of bails so low on the release of these two teens? Would we expect a similar bail posting if the tables were turned? If two Hispanics brutally attack a young white boy would they even be allowed to leave on bail?

  3. Excellent points, Emmanuel! I can't help but believe that if the tables were turned, two Hispanic attackers of an Anglo teen would have faced a VERY different scenario in the justice system.

    As for the parents, I would really like to know what their reaction was. Sadly, I have heard parents reinforce this type of hate in their own kids; Often in the name of taking pride in one's own heritage and wanting blood lines to remain "pure". I know it sounds crazy & that it could not possibly be happening in 2006 but it still does.

  4. Like Lisa, I'm also shocked that something like this could happen in 2006. When I first read the article it reminded me of something that the KKK would do. After doing a little research, I found that the Klan resurfaced in the late 1940's. Also, by the 1960s, as the civil rights movement was emerging, the Klan’s membership reached almost twenty thousand.While not all Klan orders used violence, those that did attacked blacks and used it as way to silence civil rights workers. By the end of the 1960s, the Klan’s membership declined once again.

    I'm not suggesting that the two boys were members of the KKK, however, I think that the trend of increased activity of the KKK during the 1960s (coinciding with the civil rights movement) is something that we should be aware of. Now that the "sleeping giant" is awakening, this could also awaken a lot of hateful organizations such as the KKK, etc. We should keep this in mind for safety reasons, however, at the same time we must not let acts such as these scare us into silence.

    I also find it appalling that they were questioning whether or not it was a hate crime. If that was not a hate crime, then I don't know what one is!

  5. This is one of those events that we all wish never happens. Sadly, in this day and age we are still plagued by the ignorance and brutality that hinders us from evolving as a society. This story needs to be looked at by everyone in our society to begin questioning how and why we feel about certain issues. This case can be looked at from a racial perspective and seen as an isolated crime against a Hispanic youth. In another way it can be taken as a reaction to the growing social movement involving immigration.

    Regardless of how you feel personally about an issue, say illegal immigration, one must look at the laws and practices that are taking place. While a law criminalizing illegal immigration may have its benefits, we must look at the consequences of such an act. For instance, I can take a position that I am a legal citizen and could care less about what happens to the others or that "those people" have no respect for the law. But would I still feel the same when I am pulled over by a police officer and questioned about my citizenship status? Maybe not the first time, but what about the second time, third, fourth...This new law that is being debated can indirectly influence the population. People today are socialized to shoot first and ask questions later. How many people who are citizens, Latino or not, have questioned how they will be affected? I may further become the target of racial profiling, discrimination, and yes, hate crimes. When I hear stories that there are "immigrant round ups" I can not believe that I will be required to prove my status of this country more so than someone else just cause of my name and color.

    Still in any case we are willing to shove people out who are here working hard to provide for their families; and at the same time willing to put up tax dollars for two stupid white kids brutalizing another kid.

  6. I am appalled by the fact that the police/FBI said that they basically would not do anything serious to the kids who did this unless this boy passes away...that is messed up on soooo many levels! Why do they have to wait until this boy dies to take some "real" action? If the boy passes away, who's perspective will they have in this action that they will take? It sure is not going to be that of the victim.

    Unfortunately, this is seen on many levels, and often times innocent people have to die in order for us to realize what is going on and the harsh and brutal reality of the mentality of the people who govern this country. The very people that we "trust" into keeping our homes secure and trust into protecting us are doing the very opposite...who are they really protecting if not the innocent?

    We'll have to wait and see what happens, unfortunately. There is no doubt, however, that this is a hate CRIME, and regardless, it is not like these two white kids are young enough to where they do not know what is going on. At 17 and 18, they should have a pretty strong idea of what they did and why they did it.

    I'm not surprised at the fact that we have not seen (or at least I haven't) more coverage of this in the media, precisely because these are white kids. Like Emmanuel said, if these two kids would have been Latinos, it would have been totally different. What do these 2 kids say about what they did? What do their parents say? What does the victim say?

  7. I also am not surprised as to why this crime has not been exposed by the media. It is still very difficult to wrap your mind around the pure hatred that would motivate two young people to brutalize another human being in such a grotesque, barbaric manner. Perhaps as immigrant issues get pushed towards the forefront of social consciousness, we unfortunately might see similar manifestions become more prevalent.

  8. I agree, does anyone know the status of the boy? But this just goes to show how like many of the others mentioned would be so.. different if the tables had been different. This somewhat relates to many issue of ignorance if it is not an anglo person, kidnappings, rapes, violent crimes all are look at as a race issue and just goes to prove how we have not yet reached 2006 even if we would like to think we have.

  9. What have this kids seen in their homes for them to think they have the right to treat another human being this way?

  10. I too am appalled and horrified by this heinous crime. But what if the lack of legal action and media attention noted above have nothing to to due with the perpetrators being anglo, as suggested, but rather with the victim being latino. Take for example the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard, the hate crime that sparked a national outcry for revised hate-crime legislation. Matthew's murderers were both anglo, and yet the crime and susequent court cases received immediate national attention. The difference? The ethnicity of the victim, not that of the perpetrators. Just a thought, but even scarrier if you think about it.