A group of teens were involved in a “prank” that turned deadly in Ohio.
Four boys were arrested and charged after allegedly throwing a sandbag off an overpass and into traffic. The “prank” proved fatal for one man, and police said Tuesday that the boys will face charges of murder.
According to The Toledo Blade, the incident occurred on December 19 outside Toledo, Ohio. Police charged three 14-year-olds and one 13-year-old in the incident, in which they say the teens threw a sandbag off an overpass onto Interstate 75. The sandbag went through the window of a car that Marquise Byrd, 22, was commuting in. Byrd was not driving, but was reportedly seated in the from passenger seat as the vehicle traveled in the southbound lane of the highway.
“The four juveniles were observed by officers leaving the area of the Indiana Avenue I-75 overpass after the vehicle, in which Mr. Byrd was traveling, was struck,” police said in a statement. “Detectives determined the falling sandbag was not an accident, but a deliberate act and probable cause to charge the juveniles was established.”
Byrd was taken to a hospital and stabilized, however he died just before Christmas. Authorities say blunt force trauma to the face, head, and neck was the cause of death.
Byrd’s death has escalated the charges the teens face. Toledo police announced Tuesday that they have filed murder charges against four teenagers — Pedro Salinas, 13; Sean Carter, 14; Demetrius Wimberly, 14, and William Parker, 15. According to ABC News, the teens may not be charged as adults
The teens also each face two secondary charges of vehicular vandalism, as a second car was damaged during their “prank.”
“And he wasn’t mean-spirited; he was so loving,” Byrd’s family said of the victim in a statement. “He’s leaving a son, who will be three in the upcoming year. He has a mother and a brother and a host of other family members that are trying to make sense of this tragedy.”
The teens are being held, without bail, at Toledo’s Lucas County Juvenile Justice Center.
The case is reminiscent of a recent Michigan incident, in which five teens were accused of a similar “prank” in October near Flint. During that incident, a six-pound rock was thrown from an overpass, killing a motorist.
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