5 Florida children charged in school race attacks

Posted at 6:30 PM, March 11, 2022 and last updated 4:27 PM, July 5, 2023

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (AP) — Five Florida middle schoolers are facing battery and hate crime charges after police say they attacked white students using racial taunts and slurs.

Coconut Creek police said four white children between 11 and 12 years old were assaulted Wednesday by the group that yelled things like “it’s opposite day” and “brown power” while punching and kicking them.

The attacks happened at a community center where children gather before the first bell at Lyons Creek Middle School, according to police reports.

“This is an extremely rare occurrence in our community. But these are children, and as such, poor judgment can occur,” Coconut Creek Police Chief Butch Arenal said in a statement.

The five children arrested are between 11 and 15 years old. Police reports list them as both Black and white, most with Hispanic surnames.

Coconut Creek is a suburb of Fort Lauderdale. The charges are misdemeanors although the hate crime allegation could trigger a felony count depending on decisions by prosecutors.

No one was seriously injured.