Monroe High School (Monroe School District)

Monroe High School (Monroe School District)

Monroe High School student charged with anti-LGBTQ hate crime

Prosecutors allege a 16-year-old choked a classmate on campus and called him “gay.”

MONROE — Prosecutors have charged a 16-year-old Monroe High School student with a hate crime in an April anti-LGBTQ assault on campus.

On April 27, a student, then 14, was sitting in his seat in class when he saw two 16-year-old classmates walk in, according to the charges filed Tuesday in Snohomish County Superior Court.

Those two students had a history of bullying the 14-year-old, he reported to Monroe police. They reportedly frequently threatened to beat up the 14-year-old and find out where he lives. The two older teens got closer. One wrapped his arm around the boy and called the boy “gay” and “small.”

He then wrapped his arm around the boy’s neck for about 20 seconds in what the boy described as a “chokehold,” according to the charges. The 14-year-old reported it was hard to breathe. According to a witness, the 16-year-old said “you know you love me” during the choking.

Once the 16-year-old let him loose, the older teen showed the boy a lewd image on his phone, according to court documents. The 14-year-old reported the picture made him uncomfortable.

Two days later, school security reported the alleged assault to Monroe police, according to the charges. That day, the teen accused of the choking told security he’d gone into the classroom to turn in an assignment. He said he teased the 14-year-old, but didn’t give specifics. And he reported he put his arms around the boy’s shoulder, but denied choking him.

Snohomish County prosecutors charged the 16-year-old with a hate crime and second-degree assault, both felonies.

Prosecutors charged the same Monroe teen with second-degree assault in a separate incident from January, for allegedly attacking another student at a nearby park, seemingly unprovoked. The suspect reported they got in an argument over vaping, and accused the other teen of pushing him.

Jake Goldstein-Street: 425-339-3439; jake.goldstein-street@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @GoldsteinStreet.

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