Two Maryland female teens have admitted to bullying an apparently autistic 16-year-old boy into performing sex acts and crashing through pond ice in episodes that they captured on cellphone video. ABC affiliate WJLA notes via the Associated Press that the girls, aged 17 and 15, threatened the victim with a knife, kicked him in the groin, and dragged him around by his hair. They also coerced him into walking on a partially frozen pond and then refused to help him out of the frigid water after the ice gave way.
St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Cara Grumbels said that the boy managed to struggle out on his own but the prank could have turned deadly:
You’re dealing with somebody who doesn’t have the mental capacity of you and I [sic]. Somebody like that could go into a kiddie pool and may not be able to get themselves [sic] out. That’s what’s really kind of disturbing to us, among the other allegations in this case. The whole thing’s just very disturbing.
According to the police report, the teens captured their hilarious pranks with a cell phone and uploaded the videos, though investigators haven’t found yet found any of them.
The 17-year-old has been identified as Lauren A. Bush, of Mechanicsville. She was charged as an adult Tuesday with first- and second-degree assault, false imprisonment, and solicitation for child pornography. She was released on her own recognizance. The 15-year-old, whose name has not been released, was charged as a juvenile with the same offenses and referred to the state Department of Juvenile Services. Grumbels said that more charges are likely as investigators pinpoint offenses for each episode that, authorities say, occurred between early December and early February.
Police first learned of these acts of cruelty from a parent of the younger girl who had seen the video on her daughter’s phone. The parent showed it to a sheriff’s deputy who works in the school.