An Alabama teen was severely beaten in an empty parking lot—in an attack that his mother claims was a hate crime.
Speaking with Fox affiliate WBRC, Brandi Allen said her son, Brian Ogle, suffered a skull fracture in the beating after a Friday football game. “Apparently he was hit with something—what is presumed to be the butt of the pistol on his face,” she told the station. “He has stitches and he’s got bruising, real bad bruising on his shoulder. There’s a lot of wounds on the back of his head from being hit as well.”
Allen said her son had recently lent his support to to law enforcement amid protests over deadly police shootings. “Instead of us planning for his 18th birthday, we’re here. Why? Because he made a statement that he backs the blue,” Allen said. The “blue” she was referring to refers to police.
In another interview, Allen told WBMA that her son wrote he supported law enforcement in comments on Facebook after students wore Black Lives Matter T-shirts in class. After that, Ogle got threatening messages and reported them to the school’s principal.
According to WBMA, police said there have been race-related issues at Sylacauga High. The school was placed on lockdown amid “rumors on social media regarding threats of violence,” officials said.
Two days after the lockdown, Ogle was attacked.
“Our immediate concern is for the health and well-being of our student,” Sylacauga Superintendent Todd Freeman said in a statement. “Every child who attends Sylacauga City Schools is part of our family and we are grieved that this happened to one of our own. We are steadfastly praying for healing and a full recovery.”
Police have increased security in Sylacauga high schools and middle schools. Sylacauga Police Chief Kelley Johnson described the incident as a “senseless act of violence.”
“SPD has been able to identify persons of interest and have interviewed some,” the statement reads. “At this time there is no evidence from witnesses or any others involved that SHS students, with the exception of the victim, were involved in the assault. I do ask for all of your help in trying to relieve tensions in our city by not posting negative things on social media.”