Racially motivated, drowning, released, jail, 14

14-Year-Old White Boy Accused Of Trying To Drown A Black Boy Released From Jail

A white 14-year-old accused of trying to drown a Black boy in Cape Cod has been identified upon his release from jail.

John Sheeran, 14, was released to the custody of his father on Monday, September 11, after he was indicted on charges of attempted murder and assault with a dangerous weapon, NBC News reports. The charges by way of a grand jury come from a July 19, 2023, incident at Goose Pond in Chatham, Massachusetts, where a Black teen claims he was the victim of a racially motivated attack.

Sheeran is accused of repeatedly dunking the Black teen under the water while another white teen laughed and called him “George Floyd.” The Black teen says he told Sheeran and his friend that he could not swim and needed to wear a life jacket but Sheeran proceeded to try and pull him underwater four or five times

The Black youth also says “racial slurs like ‘boy,'” were used in an incident that escalated over stone throwing. Other youths present at the pond claim to have seen Sheeran atop the Black child in the water and did hear someone say “George Floyd,” according to police.

Last month, Sheeran was indicted by a Barnstable County grand jury and ordered to be held without bail. He remained in the custody of the Department of Youth Services up until his release on Monday.

As part of his release pending trial, a judge ordered Sheeran to be subjected to GPS monitoring, stay with his father, report to probation regularly, and stay away from potential witnesses in the case. Sheeran’s lawyer believes the charges are “over the top” for the mere “horseplaying” between the youth that “got out of control,” The Boston Globe reports.

Everyone involved in the case is a youth who has had their names redacted. Sheeran is the exception since he is being tried as a youthful offender. Prosecutors in this scenario have the discretion to seek an adult sentence for children between 14 and 17 years old who are charged with a felony or meet other criteria, including a charge involving the infliction or threat of serious bodily harm.

Chatham’s select board and the Monomoy Regional School District released a statement denouncing the incident and reinforcing their stand for diversity and inclusion.

“We are disturbed and saddened to learn of the event that occurred earlier this summer between juveniles,” the select board said.

“We do not believe that it reflects the true nature of our community, which is diverse and inclusive. We condemn all acts of violence, particularly those directed at children.”

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