‘Tis the season to attack the elderly in Massachusetts, at least according to a pair of teens accused of punching a group of Christmas carolers on Sunday.
Police announced two young males will be charged with striking a person over 60 after the apparently random incident. The shocking scenario unfolded in the Dorchester area of Boston, and the victims are part of the Church of the Holy Spirit in Mattapan.
The elderly group congregated at about 3 p.m. at the home of an 88-year-old stroke victim. The mother of a parishioner was helped to the window so she could hear the performance of Christmas carols by the volunteers.
That’s when Veronica Trotman said she saw trouble begin. “I saw the two guys come across the street, but I didn’t know what they were going to do.”
The carolers were in the middle of singing “Silent Night.”
The shocked witnesses said the joyous performance abruptly stopped when the assailants allegedly punched two of the carolers from behind. Both of the victims, described as women in their late 70s, were struck in the back of the head.
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Witnesses in the neighborhood heard screams and were able to give descriptions of the alleged perpetrators to police.
The two elderly victims were offered medical treatment at the location but declined. The suspects were initially able to escape, but investigators used the descriptions provided by witnesses to track them down.
The pair were interviewed with their parents present, and both confessed to the shocking crime.
The two juvenile suspects face criminal complaints in Dorchester District Court. They were not identified due to their ages but are reported to be a 15-year-old and a 16-year-old.
A neighbor, Jalen Applewhite, told a local television reporter that “kids nowadays be going crazy. I understand what it’s like to be out having fun, but you can’t be hitting old ladies.”
Investigators are suspicious that the young males were playing what they call the “knockout game.” This involves sucker-punching people to knock them unconscious, and many times the target is an elderly person.
That makes this form of “entertainment” particularly dangerous, and the penalties should be appropriately harsh.