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Deputies in Broward County, Florida arrested two teens who were among a group seen viciously beating a gay teen who now identifies as trans, officials confirmed on Wednesday, August 10.
An ABC 10 News broadcast shared by Shaun King on Instagram shows the moment a group of teens jumped 14-year-old Chad Sanford, punching and kicking him repeatedly while they lay on the ground.
According to the ABC 10 News, the third teen seen in the video hasn’t yet been charged. Sanford said they were invited to the location by the group, thinking they were his friends.
“Then they came behind me and jumped me,” Sanford said.
Charges filed against teens who jumped gay Florida teen
The beating marks the second time Sanford has suffered homophobic abuse at the hands of his peers. In 2021, Sanford was attacked and slammed to the ground by several older kids at Deerfield Beach Middle School. While others watched it happen, no one helped.
After that attack, Sanford told local news they “wanted to do suicide.”
In the latest attack, as the teens were beating Sanford, they said they told him, “don’t come around me with that gay sh-t.”
Two of the teens have been charged with misdemeanors—battery and a crime of prejudice under Florida law.
Meanwhile, opponents of a law signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, which limits discussions around sexual orientation or gender identity, say the bill will only hurt LGBTQ. While the governor has dubbed it the “Parental Rights in Education” bill, opponents have labeled it the “Don’t say gay” bill.
It’s unclear whether charges for the attack on Sanford will be upgraded to a hate crime.
“Just let Chad be Chad,” Sanford’s grandmother told local news. “Guys was spitting on him on the bus and treating him any kind of way because of his transgender and life of what he want to be. I’m just frustrated.”
To access mental health resources for gay, trans and other LGBTQ youth, visit the Trevor Project. You may also call or text the new national suicide prevention hotline, 988. For Florida-specific resources, visit floridasuicideprevention.org.
The office of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis did not respond to a request for comment from The Black Wall Street Times.