Crofton Holds Vigil for Fallen Boy

Lisa Beisel, The Capital (Annapolis), June 2, 2009

At least 500 people gathered last night in Crofton to pay tribute to a 14-year-old boy killed there on Saturday after he was attacked as he rode his bike.

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At the end of the memorial service, Adkins recounted how she tried on Saturday to warn her son about the group of teens who soon after would beat him, causing him to fall from his bicycle, strike his head and die on the street.

She said she thought perhaps the group of boys she saw were the same ones that prompted her to transfer Christopher out of Arundel High School to South River after a trip to a shopping mall with a group of elementary school friends turned into a clash between two groups of teens.

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She said she walked past a group of a half-dozen teens at the community pool down the street from her home and sent a text message to warn Christopher on Saturday. He responded “I’m fine,” Adkins told the The Washington Post, choking back tears yesterday as she scrolled through her son’s last messages on her cell phone.

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Police were originally called to the neighborhood for a report of a boy who’d been hit by a car. When they arrived, they found the boy had been attacked by other teens while riding his bike.

Christopher was taken to Baltimore Washington Medical Center by ambulance, where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy revealed he died of head and neck injuries.

No bond

Javel Marqueth George, 16, was charged as an adult and a 14-year-old boy was charged as a juvenile with manslaughter, assault and reckless endangerment.

Police said both suspects were questioned by detectives and admitted to punching Christopher, who fell off his bike and struck his head on the ground as he tried to flee.

George is being held at the Jennifer Road Detention Center without bond. The 14-year-old boy is at the Cheltenham Juvenile Detention Center. Both will remain in custody until their trial.

In the bail review hearing yesterday in District Court in Annapolis, George’s father testified that his son was a good student dealing with a bad situation.

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Assistant State’s Attorney Michelle Smith asked Judge Thomas L. Pryal to hold George without any bond.

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Earlier dispute

Christopher had been a student at Arundel High until early May, when he transferred to South River, Mosier said. He said George is a freshman at Arundel.

Capt. David Waltemeyer, commander of the county Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division, said the assault stemmed from an earlier dispute.

“Basically, the two suspects have had a beef with the victim and some of the victim’s friends the last couple of weeks or 30 days,” he said.

The suspects happened to see Christopher while they were walking in the area, Waltemeyer said. They exchanged words and then the teens assaulted Christopher and ran away.

Police said they are still trying to piece together what the dispute was about.

Rumors have spread through the neighborhood that the incident was gang-related. Waltemeyer said there are two loosely organized groups in the area.

But they are not organized gangs with leadership structures. They’re more like “neighborhood crews” of kids that live in the same area or go to the same school, he said.

The groups, The New Threat and East Side Diamonds, have less than 12 teenage members in each and aren’t like known gangs such as the Bloods or the Crips, Waltemeyer said.

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Waltemeyer said though the victim was white and the suspects are black, there is no indication that the incident was racially motivated.

“It doesn’t have anything to do with race,” he said.

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