Authorities dropped charges Thursday on six high school students involved in a brutal assault of a commuter and police officer on the Washington D.C. metro.
D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine said he could not comment on the case and why the charges were abruptly dropped, but he suggested there is not enough hard video evidence to identify the teens charged and prove they were involved in the January assault, reports NBC Washington.
The teens were commuting to Woodrow Wilson High School when the fight broke out. Police say a teen punched a 35 year old man on the red line, who swung back and ignited the massive brawl. Surveillance video captured the fight, which began on a metro train and spilled out onto the platform at the Gallery Place station.
The video showed a mob of juveniles exploding off the train onto the platform as onlookers scattered out of the way. The victim suffered cuts to his face, and police initially said he was targeted by the teens, who were said to have a “wolf pack mentality.” (RELATED: Bedlam Continues On DC Metro, Council Votes Down Safety Plan)
Metro officials removed roughly 30 teens from the station over the incident and arrested six teenagers. Four of them were initially charged with assaulting a police officer, however those charges are now dropped.“We may not prosecute to trial a charge that the prosecutor knows is not supported by evidence sufficient to establish a prima facie showing of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt,” Racine said in a statement to NBC4.
The assault came in the wake of the D.C. Council voting down a safety plan from Mayor Muriel Bowser which aimed to increase penalties for crimes committed on city transit. Bowser pushed the plan to address growing concerns over violent incidents on the metro, hoping the law would act as a deterrent.
Council member Jack Evans, who supported the initiative, expressed his disappointment regarding safety issues in January before the fight at Gallery Place station, telling Fox5: “If we have roaming groups of youths attacking people, that’s unacceptable and something we have to put to a stop.”
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