A 15-year-old Brunswick High School student has been charged with second-degree assault after a TV news crew caught him on camera apparently hitting and pushing another student.
WHAG, a Hagerstown television station, was preparing to interview Preston Deener, a Frederick County high school sophomore who said he's been the victim of bullying for years.
Just before cameras started rolling, three boys approached him. One hit Deener on the head and chased him across a busy street.
The suspect, who has not been publicly identified because he is a minor, has been referred to the Department of Juvenile Services.
Both he and Deener told investigators that said the scene captured on camera was an isolated incident. They said he had not been involved in previous bullying incidents involving Deener, Lt. Tom Winebrenner of the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office told NBC Washington.
But the teen's face was caught on video in the on-camera attack, and the school system had promised to investigate.
"I think bullying is a problem at many schools around the country," said Michael Doerrer of Frederick County Public Schools told WHAG. "It's not just in Frederick County."
Deener's mother, Cheryl, told News4's Erika Gonzalez that enough is enough.
"They have to make sure this stops now before someone gets seriously hurt or even killed, and I hope to God it's not my child," she said.
The Hagerstown TV crew spoke to Deener about an incident the previous week, in which he said he was attacked in gym class. After years of being bullied, Deener said he fought back for the first time -- but he was suspended and forbidden to attend the school's homecoming dance, and the other student wasn't.
Deener, his friends and family are holding their own homecoming dance Friday. About 150 people are expected to attend.