A hallway altercation left an eighth-grade boy with two broken collarbones following an attack Crystal Lake, Ill. police are calling a hate crime.
Hannah Beardsley Middle Schooler Omid Babakhani told NBC Chicago another student walked up behind him in a corridor after lunch Monday and shouted, "Hey, Persian" at him.
The 13-year-old said the fellow student then called Babakhani's mother "a rude word." When he told his attacker not to say that, Babakhani said the other boy asked, “Do you want to fight a black man?"
Despite his apparent attempt to avoid a confrontation, Babakhani said that the boy came up behind him, put him in a headlock, “slammed” him to the ground and punched him repeatedly, the Tribune reports.
Babakhani, a competitive swimmer, said both his collarbones were broken before he even hit the ground. He described the other boy, who he said he had never met before, as the same height as himself "with a bit more muscle."
Babakhani's father, who originally came to the U.S. from Iran, said "there's no rhyme or reason" to the attack, telling CBS Chicago, “It’s heartbreaking, but what can you do? You have to deal with it."
Prosecutors say the attack was classified as a hate crime since the offender "made verbal reference to the victim’s national origin just before the attack," according to the Daily Herald.
The other boy was arrested and originally faced lesser charges before being released to his parents. After an investigation led to upgraded charges of felony aggravated battery and a hate crime, he was later taken to a juvenile detention facility where he awaits a detention hearing in juvenile court.