Two teenage brothers fatally attacked a man at an agricultural fair in Maryland after he refused to give them money, authorities said.
John Weed, 59, of Mount Airy was at the Great Frederick Fair Friday evening when the 15-year-old and 16-year-old approached him, authorities said. Several minutes after he declined to give them $1, the 15-year-old knocked him unconscious, prosecutors said.
“I think it’s despicable, and it tells me a lot about how these young people view this person by the very fact after they had him on the ground they taunted and they spit on him,” Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins said. “That to me shows hatred and disgust and despise.”
Medics flew him to the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. He died there Saturday, the sheriff's office said.
The 15-year-old boy was charged with first-degree assault, second-degree assault and reckless endangerment, the sheriff's office said. His 16-year-old brother was charged with second-degree assault. They are charged as juveniles but the prosecutor may ask that they be tried as adults.
“There’s plenty of times where good people make bad decisions, but when they result in somebody’s death, you get punished,” Frederick County State’s Attorney Charlie Smith said.
“They made an adult decision by doing what they did and ended up with a man losing his life, the sister losing a brother, whatever,” Jenkins said. “They deserve the maximum penalty.”
Their father pleaded with a judge Monday that his sons are just kids who made a big mistake and should be detained at home, but the judge ruled they remain in custody.
Deputies are asking anyone with more information about the assault to call 301-600-1046 or the tip line at 301-600-4131.
A spokesperson for the Great Frederick Fair released the following statement:
"The Great Frederick Fair’s number one priority is the safety and security of our guests. To dispel rumors of the events of last night, while there was an assault, there was NO shooting and NO stabbing. The team of security and law enforcement was able to respond rapidly to control and contain the incident. The investigation into this incident remains active and any further information regarding the assault will be released from the Sheriff’s Office."