Police: 3 Charged with Hate Crime After Video Shows Bullying of Autistic Teen

WFTV, February 14, 2012

Three suspects are charged with a hate crime after police in Palm Bay said they bullied an autistic teen and recorded it on camera.

In the video, the suspects taunted, used racial slurs, and chased the victim, 15-year-old Jacob Appel, for more than six minutes at a school bus stop. 

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Now, Joelson Abel, Tyjuan English and Deon Glipsy are facing charges of aggravated stalking and hate crimes after English allegedly recorded the bus stop altercation and then a tussle on the bus.

Appel has Asperger’s syndrome, which is a form of autism.

The video captures him running into traffic more than once to get away from the other teens. Appel came close to getting hit by a motorcycle and a second car after he ran out into this street and then through an intersection.

“He could have gotten hit by a car and lost his life, and these boys they don’t understand this,” said Appel’s mother, Teresa Appel.

Jacob Appel said he’s been bullied for weeks but it was the cellphone video which finally got authorities involved.

The teenagers can also be heard referring to Appel as a “cracker,” which police said made this a hate crime.

Police said Appel was struck by one of the students on the bus. {snip}

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[Editor’s Note: The raw video of the incident is available here.]

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