School bus attack

Sept. 09

Belleville police are investigating the alleged beating of a 17-year-old boy on a school bus.

Police received a complaint of a battery that happened on a bus on the way to Belleville West High School. Police said the white male student was beaten by two black male students. Video of the beating was captured on the bus video camera.

Investigators said that the victim was attempting to find a seat on the bus and was told by two students he could not sit down next to them. When he did sit down, one suspect attempted to push him out of his seat then began punching him in the face and choking him.

Police said the victim again sat down in his seat and after a few minutes of another student taunting him verbally, the second suspect walked over to the victim and began striking him in the face. One of the alleged attackers is 14 and the other 15.

"It's just a sad, sad state I mean what are our kids learning that they behave like this," said Belleville Police Captain Donald Sax.

Belleville police believe the fight may have been racially motivated. "We certainly believe by looking at the video that race had some factor in it.. yes," said Sax.

Belleville West's Superintendent said that any student found to be involved will be punished to the greatest extent possible by the district. School officials are looking into how much of the attack the bus driver witnessed.

Both of the suspects are juveniles and will be petitioned through the court for battery charges on Tuesday.