CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The attorney for a Black teenager from Texas says several other teens attacked his client with a stun gun on Halloween while wearing costumes resembling Ku Klux Klan robes.
At a news conference Wednesday, Matt Manning of Corpus Christi said the attack involved high school students in Woodsboro, a small town 30 miles north of Corpus Christi. He said his client was not seriously injured, and he declined to identify all involved because they were juveniles.
There were as many as six victims, all juveniles, Manning said. The five other victims were not shocked but may have been chased or otherwise terrorized, he said.
“For you to dress up as a Klansman, you have a specific intent of terrorizing,” Manning said. “That’s not an accident. That’s not kids being kids. That’s not boys being boys. That’s not hazing or high school hijinks. High school hijinks are egging somebody’s house, not dressing up as a Klansman and Tasing them.”
Refugio County sheriff’s deputies were called to Woodsboro by the report of a teen shocked with a “Taser or cattle-prod-like” device, Sheriff Raul “Pinky” Gonzales told The Victoria Advocate. There were no immediate arrests or criminal charges, Assistant District Attorney Tim Poynter said. Woodsboro police, Refugio County deputies and the Texas Rangers continue to investigate.
Manning didn’t specify the race of the assailants, but Jeremy Lane Coleman, Corpus Christi NAACP chapter president, said he was calling the assault a hate crime until evidence showed otherwise.
Woodsboro school district officials said they were cooperating with investigators.