Two West Baltimore Middle School students were beaten with lacrosse sticks yesterday by a group of fellow students who asked the pair whether they were in a gang, the chief of the city schools police said.
Chief Marshall T. Goodwin said that more than 10 eighth-graders at the school approached the two students, also eighth-graders, about 8:40 a.m. and asked whether they were "banging" - meaning part of gang. One of the targeted boys wore athletic shoes with red trim, which the assailants took as a gang sign, Goodwin said.
When the two boys said they weren't affiliated with a gang, the others beat them with lacrosse sticks, inflicting head and leg injuries, he said. None of the assailants was on the school lacrosse team, he said.
City medics treated the two boys at the scene, and one was taken by his mother to a hospital on the advice of medics, Goodwin said. He said their injuries were not life-threatening.
The attack happened as students were heading into the school, so school police and staff witnessed it, Goodwin said. A school-based police officer recognized five of the attackers, he said, and three of them were charged as juveniles with aggravated assault.