POMPANO BEACH, Fla. – Misdemeanor charges have been upgraded to felonies against two of at least three teenagers seen on video brutally attacking an LGBTQ teen at a neighborhood park in Pompano Beach, Local 10 News learned Friday.
The teens, aged 15 and 16, are charged with battery and a crime of prejudice, according to the Broward Sheriff’s Office. Detectives are still searching for two more suspects.
“Don’t come around me with that gay (expletive),” the teens said, according to the victim.
It’s the second time 14-year-old Chad Sanford was attacked. In 2021, Sanford made national headlines after being attacked and slammed to the ground by a group of older kids at Deerfield Beach Middle School as others just watched.
“Under the State of Florida statues, if you commit a crime that is based on hate...and you attack them or harm them because of that this is what’s called an enhancement,” former prosecutor Melba Pearson said.
Pearson is now with FIU’s Center for Administration of Justice. She said the video should be a wake-up call.
“I think it’s on all of us to be vigilant, to speak out and to make sure to be an ally when somebody says something hateful,” she said. “You say ‘this is not acceptable.’”
BSO’s investigation is still ongoing and there could be more arrests and charges to come, an agency spokesperson said.
The teens could face multiple years in prison, depending on how they are charged.