Prince William County Police have arrested six teenagers in connection to an attack on a 16-year-old boy by a mob of teens in Woodbridge.
Police said they arrested four 17-year-old and two 16-year-old boys Wednesday. Each of the teens was charged with one count of assault by mob and one count of gang participation.
The attack occurred early Sunday morning outside the Boys & Girls Club at 5070 Dale Blvd. The attack was captured on video, just as a party was breaking up.
Detectives said they identified six male juveniles as suspects; police said all six claimed to be associates of a local gang.
The Boys & Girls Club rent out their space to private parties to try to give teens a safe place to have fun, but just after midnight, the victim was approached by an unknown male who told him to go outside. When he did, he was surrounded and assaulted by a group of males, police said.
The victim's mother said seeing the video, which was sent to her son the morning after the attack, left her heartbroken.
Because juveniles are involved, News4 blurred their faces in the video. But the video shows teens gathering around the victim, with phones poised to take video. One teen uttered a racial slur. The leader is shown punching the victim, who falls to the ground. Then other teens begin to kick him.
A honking horn sent the attackers running, and they were gone before police arrived.
The victim suffered only minor injuries and was unable to describe his assailants.
The victim's mother, who asked that News4 protect her identity, said she got a frightening call from police after midnight Sunday. She and her husband rushed to the scene to find EMTs tending to her son.
"As I looked down on the ground, I see a bunch of blood and I ask, 'Is that his?' And I seen him sitting there holding tissues to his nose," she said.
The next morning, to add insult to injury, someone sent video of the attack to her son's phone.
"When I initially looked at the video, I screamed 'cause, like I said, as a parent you want to protect your child and I felt like I wasn't there... It looked awful," she said.
The victim's mother said she believes the attack on her son was carried out by students from a rival high school, who were retaliating after a March 7 fight at the Potomac Mills mall that drew police.
Police said they are still working to determine the identities of the suspects in the Potomac Mills mall fight. Authorites said the attackers at the Boys & Girls Club mistakenly believed the victim was involved in the earlier incident.
The victim's mother said her son was not involved in the Potomac Mills fight, but that on the night of the attack, one of the attackers had asked him earlier in the evening if he played basketball for Freedom High School. He said yes, and his mom thinks he was targeted because of his school.
"I'm also upset because you singled my child out... for what? For... playing that team... for going to that school?" she said.
"I'm a forgiving person," she said, "but this has to stop. It has to stop and you can't go around randomly picking kids just because..."
The victim stayed home from school Monday because his mom wanted to talk to administrators before he returns and continues to play basketball.
"He says he's OK," the victim's mom said. "He's a strong boy, but they still deal with that embarrassment. I hope there will be some compassion ... and people will be supportive of him and not be hurtful."
Prince William County Schools Communications Director Phil Kavits said the incident is viewed as a police matter right now. He said he expects the Freedom High School community to be fully supportive of the attack victim.
Police said the court date for the six teen suspects is pending.