Viral video shows Northern Illinois teen attacked for being gay
A video that shows a 15-year-old high school in Dixon being grabbed and thrown to the ground has gone viral and led to charges.
WQAD, an ABC affiliate in the Quad Cities, reported that the student, Kayden Certer, had no warning of the attack.
“I turned around one time and I noticed he was behind me. He was getting faster and then out of nowhere I turned around again and he just starts running at me,” Certer told the TV station.
The family was told about the incident and wanted to press charges. But when Certer’s mother, Megin Steeb, did report the incident to the police, she was told the attacker would be given a citation. “He was going to be given a citation, which is like a ticket for battery and a fine, 400 dollar fine,” she told WQAD.
Steeb said that she realized that wasn’t a strong enough punishment, so she decided to share the video. She told the station she hoped to get justice for her son and draw more attention to the attack. The video quickly went viral and the police decided to take the incident to the state’s attorney. But Streeb isn’t happy it took this much attention for it to happen.
“He was up to like 8000 views super-fast and then the police reached out to me after and now they’re saying oh we’re taking it to the states attorney,” she told the station. “Now we’re going to have states charges. It took me to have to do this though. That’s what angers me.”
Certer believes he was attacked because he is out as gay.
WQAD reached out to the school, law enforcement and the state’s attorney. The school district sent a statement that they were disturbed about the incident and said they took appropriate steps to initiate an investigation. The Dixon Police Department confirmed that the investigation has been closed and send to the state’s attorney. Lee County State’s Attorney Charles Boonstra told the TV station that he had received the case but had not yet reviewed it as of Tuesday morning.