A senior at Brother Rice High School visiting a friend’s home late last year found himself in a life-threatening situation.
According to Chicago Police, Joshua Merritt, 17, was the victim of a hate crime at about 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 23, 1600 block of W. 100th Pl. WGN-TV reported that this happened at the home of a Cook County State's Attorney's office employee.
After investigating the matter for weeks, police arrested a young man and two juveniles.
Police arrested Matthew Herrmann, 18, of Alsip and charged him with battery, felony unlawful restraint and felony hate crime.
FOX Chicago News reported that the three suspects put a noose around Merritt’s neck twice, wouldn’t allow him to leave, and used the N-word several times as they threatened to kill him.
“He walks over to me, with the noose in his hand, he comes puts the noose around my neck and he begins to tighten the noose, almost strangled me to the ground,” Merritt told FOX Chicago News.
Merritt, 17, is a senior at Brother Rice. He said his attackers, one of whom also went to Brother Rice, were all white, according to the report. Officials did not specify who the Brother Rice student was, stating that they "don't release that type of information." However, James Antos, principal of Brother Rice High School said one alumnus was involved and the third was a student at another high school.
Merritt told FOX Chicago News that his friendship with a female white cousin of a 16-year-old charged in the case had possibly sparked the incident, the report said.
According to FOX Chicago, Merritt said when got out of the house and went to catch a bus home, the 16-year-old "comes up to me with a knife, from behind me and said 'stop talking to my cousin. You're annoying her, if you don't stop I'm going to kill you.'”
The report said that Brother Rice High School is continuing to look into the matter.