Posted on March 9, 2005

Police Suspect Ethnic Bias in Attack on Russian Boy

Alice Tallmadge, Oregonian (Portland), Mar. 9

EUGENE — Police are investigating an attack on a 12-year-old boy of Russian descent as a bias crime after an older student allegedly beat up the boy at school, breaking several ribs and injuring his spleen.

Police arrested the 14-year-old eighth-grader on suspicion of misdemeanor assault after the attack last week at Jefferson Middle School, police spokeswoman Pam Olshanski said Tuesday.

The accused attacker, who is Hispanic, “made a derogatory remark at time of the assault related to (the younger boy’s) Russian heritage,” Olshanski said. Police also are investigating whether other students were involved.

The attack has shocked students and staff at the school, which declared itself a “racism-free zone” in the early 1980s.