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Teen Charged With Hate Crime After Illinois Middle School Attack

Omid Babakhani's injuries end his competitive swimming future for at least the rest of the school year

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A Hannah Beardsley Middle School student accused of attacking another student with an Iranian father and a Puerto Rican mother was charged with aggravated battery and a hate crime, both of which are felonies. Christian Farr reports.

    An altercation between two students in the hallway of a Crystal Lake middle school ended a competitive swimmer's season and resulted in hate crime charges against a teen.

    Omid Babakhani said he was walking through a corridor of Hannah Beardsley Middle School in the far northwest Chicago suburb after lunch on Monday when he heard another student yell, "Hey, Persian," behind him.

    Babakhani, who has a mother from Puerto Rico and a father from Iran, said he ignored the remark but was then physically attacked by the student.

    "He puts me in a headlock and slams me to the ground and starts repetitively punching my head," the eighth grader recalled Tuesday.

    No weapons were involved, but Babakhani was injured enough to be taken to a hospital for treatment, police said. The other student was arrested and charged with battery before being released to his parents.

    "He broke both of my collar bones and now I can only move my hands," Babakhani said.

    The injuries will take four to six weeks to heal and effectively end Babakhani's competitive swimming future for at least the rest of the school year.

    "I was getting close to nationals, and it just breaks my heart that I can't go and help my team out," he said.

    The attacker was charged with aggravated battery and a hate crime, both of which are felonies. That student was being held at the Kane County Juvenile Detention Facility pending a detention hearing in juvenile court.