Crystal Lake middle school fight leads to hate crime charge - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Crystal Lake middle school fight leads to hate crime charge

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CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

What authorities first believed to be just a fight between two students at a northwest suburban middle school turned out to be what police are calling a hate crime, resulting in felony charges.

Officers were called about 12:20 p.m. Monday to Hannah Beardsley Middle School at 515 E. Crystal Lake Ave. in Crystal Lake because two students were involved in a physical fight, a statement from police said.

Only two students were involved in the incident, police said, one of whom had "tackled and repeatedly struck the other with their hands, seemingly without provocation," the statement said.

No weapons were involved, but one student was injured enough to be taken to a hospital for treatment, police said. The other student was arrested and charged with battery before being released to their parents.

When it was determined the injured student has suffered fractured clavicles, police and Crystal Lake School District 47 officials investigated further.

They learned the student who was the aggressor in the incident had been "making verbal reference to the victim's national origin just prior to the attack," police said.

That led to the charges being upgraded to aggravated battery and hate crime, both felonies.

Police would not release the names, ages, genders or grade levels of the suspect or the victim, saying only that both were under 18.

The offender is being held at the Kane County Juvenile Detention Facility pending a detention hearing in juvenile court.

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