Four teens in­dicted over hate crimes at school

Baltimore Sun - - NEWS - By Jess No­cera jno­cera@balt­ twit­­no­cera

A Howard County grand jury has in­dicted the four Glenelg High School stu­dents charged with hate crimes af­ter swastikas and racial ep­i­thets were found scrawled on the school’s prop­erty in late May, the state’s at­tor­ney’s of­fice said Fri­day.

Tyler Cur­tiss of Brookeville, Matthew Lipp of Wood­bine, Joshua Shaf­fer of Mount Airy and Seth Tay­lor of Glen­wood — all 18 — each face iden­ti­cal seven-count in­dict­ments, in­clud­ing three hate-crime charges.

The four were re­leased on their own re­cog­ni­zance and were or­dered not to leave the state with­out a judge’s per­mis­sion.

Fol­low­ing the in­dict­ments, which were is­sued Wed­nes­day, Dis­trict Court tri­als sched­uled af­ter their ar­rests in May have been called off, ac­cord­ing to court records, and the four are to ap­pear in Cir­cuit Court next month.

At­tor­neys for two of the teens de­clined to com­ment Fri­day. A lawyer for an­other could not be reached, and no at­tor­ney in­for­ma­tion was listed in on­line records for the fourth teen.

On May 24, swastikas and racial ep­i­thets, in­clud­ing one that Howard County po­lice said tar­geted the school’s African-Amer­i­can prin­ci­pal, were found painted on school cam­pus side­walks, out­side walls and the park­ing lot. Com­mu­nity, re­li­gious, school and po­lit­i­cal lead­ers im­me­di­ately de­nounced the van­dal­ism and called for unity.

The four each face three counts re­lated to race or re­li­gious ha­rass­ment, two de­struc­tion of prop­erty-re­lated charges and two tres­pass­ing charges, ac­cord­ing to court records and a state’s at­tor­ney in­dict­ment sum­mary re­leased Fri­day. All of the charges are mis­de­meanors.

The graf­fiti was dis­cov­ered be­fore a morn­ing awards cer­e­mony for Glenelg graduating se­niors.

Po­lice said they used im­ages from sur­veil­lance cam­eras to help iden­tify the four sus­pects. Nei­ther the po­lice nor school sys­tem would con­firm if they were mem­bers of the graduating se­nior class.

It was the sec­ond in­ci­dent of its kind at the school in two years. Ac­cord­ing to state po­lice “hate or bias” re­ports, graf­fiti de­pict­ing swastikas and an anti-African Amer­i­can racial slur were dis­cov­ered in­side one of the school’s bath­rooms in March 2017. No sus­pects had been iden­ti­fied at the time of the re­port last year.


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