CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill. (CBS) — An alleged hate crime in a northwest suburban school results in felony charges against an eighth grader Tuesday.
In the meantime, the young victim and his family are left reeling from the unprovoked attack. CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov talked with them today.
13-year-old Omid Babakhani is immobile, in pain, with two broken collarbones. They were snapped yesterday when Omid was attacked by a fellow eighth grader in the hallway at Hannah Beardsly Middle School in Crystal Lake.
“And I heard, ‘Hey Persian’ from behind me,” said Omid.
Omid says that’s how it started, with a slur and an insult about his mom.
He walked away but it didn’t end.
“He put me in a head lock and slammed me to the ground and repetitively started punching my head,” said Omid.
Omid’s mom wants answers and action by both the school and police, who arrested her son’s alleged attacker.
“Omid doesn’t bother anyone. He is a good kid,” Omid’s mother said.
Babakhani says since the in-school attack, community support has been wonderful. A concerned acquaintance even stopped by with cookies and well wishes for Omid, who’s competitive swimming future is now in question.
“It’s heartbreaking, but what can you do? You have to deal with it,” Omid’s father said.
But the family’s biggest concern is the apparent swipe at Omid’s ethnicity.
Omid believes it is a hate crime because,”…of how he said it to me and that he kept coming after me.”
“He has to be held accountable for his actions.”
Just this afternoon, Crystal Lake Police said charges against the alleged, young attacker were upgraded. He is now facing felony hate crime and aggravated felony charges and is in custody at a juvenile detention facility.
School officials also say they are cooperating fully with police.