Three Teenagers Charged with Hate Crime on the Red Line

They allegedly told a 49-year-old woman to 'go back to [her] own country' and punched her in the face.

red line


Three teenagers are being charged with a hate crime after allegedly harassing a woman on the Red Line earlier this month.

On November 7, according to Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley’s office, the 15-year-old girls—who were from Mattapan and Dorchester—accosted a 49-year-old woman, who boarded an early-morning train at the Savin Hill MBTA stop. The girls mocked the woman’s accent, and insults lobbed at the victim included a demand that she “go back to [her] own country,” officials say.

Then the teenagers prevented the woman from walking away, according to the release, and one of them “repeatedly punched and struck [the woman] in the face with a cell phone.”

They were arraigned November 9 on charges of assault and battery and a civil rights violation causing injury, have been released to their parents’ care, and are due in court again November 30.

Officials were able to identify them as Boston Public Schools students after a passenger snapped a picture of them and shared it with authorities. The witness, who reported the assault by pushing an emergency call button at Andrew Station, claimed to have witnessed the teenagers “celebrating” after attacking the woman and leaving the train.

Conley issued a statement condemning the girls’ actions.

“The immigrant experience is encoded in our nation’s DNA,” he said. “We want to make sure that everyone feels safe and secure, no matter who they are, where they’re from, how they speak, or how they define their families. There’s no room for behavior like this — period.

Reports of racist incidents in public are being shared widely in recent days, after a spike in alleged hate crimes following the results of the 2016 election. This particular incident, however, came the day before the election.

Locally, there have been reports of male college students harassing students and waving a Trump flag on campus at Wellesley, the Women’s college, the night of the election. A postal worker in Cambridge is alleged to have yelled racist slurs at a Hispanic man, invoking the president-elect’s name. There have also been reports of swastikas and other offensive messages scrawled in public places around Boston. A Red Line train was briefly taken out of service this week after transit officials found a hateful message written on a wall.

In response, Attorney General Maura Healey this week announced she has set up a hotline for people to report possible hate crimes.