NEW: Wellington High student latest to have assault recorded on video

Updated Feb 02, 2018
NEW: Wellington High student latest to have assault recorded on video

For the second time in about a month, a video surfaced on social media showing a Palm Beach County student getting beaten while someone recorded the attack.

This time, it was a 15-year-old Wellington High School student who is shown getting pummeled Jan. 23 by another student’s fists inside a bathroom stall at a McDonald’s. The video ended up on Snapchat, leading to the arrest of the accused attacker on charges of robbery and simple battery.

The Post is not naming the 17-year-old who was arrested because he is a juvenile and is not being charged as an adult.

The motivation behind the attack?

According to an incident report provided by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, the 17-year-old was sending a “message” to a friend of the victim. Prior to the incident at McDonald’s, the 17-year-old had been placed on internal suspension at Wellington High after he became involved in an on-campus altercation with the victim’s friend, PBSO said.

“Tell John, ‘What’s up?’ ” the 17-year-old tells the victim as he lands repeated punches to the boy’s face and head. “You see what happens when you hang around John?”

VIDEO: Boy beaten in bathroom stall at McDonald’s in Wellington

The victim did not sustain any serious injuries but had to be checked out a medical facility days after the attack for a possible concussion.

Administrators at Wellington High School contacted PBSO after cellphone video of the attack was sent in a Snapchat message to the victim’s friend.

“You can look at that video and know this guy did not do this for the first time that day,” said the mother of the 15-year-old victim. “He went in with an intent and videotaped it to send a message. It’s reprehensible to me that these kids think it’s OK to post something like that, to feel emboldened enough to act that way. It’s quite terrifying.”

The person who recorded the assault is not identified and has not been arrested.

The attack took place at the McDonald’s at Greenview Shores Boulevard and Wellington Trace about an hour after school.

Aside from simple battery, the 17-year-old is also facing a robbery charge because he took the victim’s cellphone and forced the boy to turn over his password. The person who recorded the assault can be heard telling the 17-year-old assailant not to take the phone.

A similar incident took place Dec. 21 at South County Regional Park in suburban Boca Raton. A video shows one girl being punched to the ground by another girl then being attacked by several other girls while she is cowering in a fetal position.

The father of the victim said his daughter was beaten because she is a Muslim, but PBSO said its investigation showed no evidence of the incident being a hate crime. The dispute involved students from West Boca Raton and Olympic Heights high schools.

PBSO said that arrests were “pending” in the Boca Raton case, but it was not clear Friday if anyone as taken into custody.

The mother of the 15-year-old Wellington boy said that her son is a good student, but “it’s not been easy since this occurred to get him motivated to go to school.”

The mother said her son was concerned about being the target of retribution and had to be convinced to file charges against his attacker.

“But he made the right decision,” she said. “At some point you have to take a stand and say, ‘No more.’ What happened is unacceptable behavior.”