Thomas Dale students’ bias charges upgraded

Police investigated an assault that occurred at a Thomas Dale High School after-school activity for much of last week. Initially filing charges of an alleged assault, by the end of the week, after consulting with the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office, police had upgraded the charges to bias-motivated assault. According to Capt. Russ Lescault, Uniform Operations Bureau of the Chesterfield County Police Department, the reason for the upgraded charges was due to it being a white on black assault.

“The way the state police define it,” Capt. Lescault said. “If it’s intimidation due to race, religion or nationality, it’s considered bias motivated.”

Police say a 15-year-old male and a 16-year-old male allegedly tied a rope into a noose and then attempted to put it around a 14-year-old male. A racial slur was reportedly used during the assault. Police say the victim did not sustain any injury as a result of the incident.

The student parents reported to school officials and police that the incident took place on May 11. If convicted, the boys are facing a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 days in detention.

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