A baby-faced 14-year-old boy has appeared in court charged with trying to murder a black teenager by drowning him.
John Sheeran appeared in court just outside Boston on Monday following the July incident, in which he allegedly hurled racial slurs at his unnamed victim — and even called the teen “George Floyd” during drowning attempts.
He was wearing a navy blue suit, shirt and tie with the collar not tucked in properly. Despite calls from prosecutors for Sheeran to remain in custody, a judge released him on a tag and ordered him to stay at his father’s home.
The victim told law enforcement that Sheeran began throwing rocks and calling him racial slurs after he arrived at Goose Pond on Cape Cod. Sheeran then threatened to beat the victim, it is claimed.
The victim did not know how to swim and therefore wore a life jacket in the water. Despite the vest, Sheeran attempted to pull him underwater several times, to the point where the victim was no longer able to breathe, it is claimed.
John Sheeran, 14, was escorted to juvenile court Monday after being charged with attempted murder and civil rights violations.
In July, Sheeran allegedly attempted to drown a black teenager at Goose Pond (pictured) in Chatham, Massachusetts.
The victim told police that the accused “grabbed onto my life jacket and pulled me under the water and back about four to five times…during this time, water came got into my mouth and nose and I couldn’t breathe.”
Afterward, the victim said Sheeran began calling him “George Floyd” while kicking him and pulling him underwater.
The victim said he was screaming that he couldn’t breathe, which is when the suspect and another teen at the scene “started laughing and called me George Floyd.”
He continued to call for help as the two teens continued to pull him underwater. Eventually, bystanders arrived to help and the victim was saved. The other alleged attacker has not been identified – and it is unclear whether Sheeran knew his alleged victim before the attack.
Prosecutors say hours later, Sheeran punched an Asian child in the face. This child has not been identified.
Sheeran was charged with attempted murder and civil rights violations in connection with the case.
In court on Monday, a baby-faced Sheeran was led into the room with his hands handcuffed in front of him.
His brown mop of hair swirled downward as he took his place in front of the judge. He wore a blue suit and a striped tie.
Despite prosecutors’ objections, Sheeran was released and taken into custody in Chatham. His release includes wearing a GPS monitoring device which will confine him to his father’s home. He is also required to continue reporting to juvenile probation.
Prosecutors argued that Sheeran should remain in prison, calling him a danger to the community.
The victim said Sheeran began calling him George Floyd as he screamed that he couldn’t breathe. Floyd sadly told officers he couldn’t breathe before dying during an altercation with Minneapolis cops in 2020.
Sheeran was released into his father’s custody. Earlier this summer, he moved to Florida with his mother while his parents were going through a divorce.
The suspect allegedly began the criminal interaction by throwing rocks at the victim and calling him racial slurs.
‘Mr. Sheeran can’t go out into the community because whether it’s three o’clock in the afternoon at a pond with his friends where he should be able to behave properly or 8:15 p.m. when he passes another child, he hits him,’” Assistant District Attorney Eileen Moriarty said in court.
“He is a violent child, we have not heard of any mitigating circumstances, this violence is unfortunately directed against children of other races, children who do not look like him,” she added.
At the time of the incident, Sheeran had just moved to Florida with his mother, while his parents were going through a divorce, according to prosecutors.
The teen will now have to stay in Chatham with his father while the trial continues.
His parents are divorcing, and Sheeran’s mother lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.