A 16-year-old boy was charged Thursday in connection with a mob assault on two reporters in Norfolk, Va., where their newspaper waited two weeks before reporting the incident, police said.
The Virginian-Pilot didn’t wait to report the arrest, posting it online shortly after a police news conference.
Norfolk Police Chief Sharon Chamberlin said at the news conference the juvenile suspect, who was not named, was charged with throwing a missile at a vehicle, a felony, two counts of simple assault by mob, destruction of property and participation in a riot, NBC station WAVY reported.
Only a handful of people were involved in the assault on reporters Dave Forster and Marjon Rostami, who are white and who told police they were beaten April 14 by a group of young black men, Chamberlin said.
"At no time in our investigation or in the statements taken from the victims did it appear that this assault was racially motivated," Chamberlin said.
The reporters had left a rock concert at Attucks Theater when they stopped at a red light amid a crowd of about 100 people, they told police. The beating ensued after Forster confronted a rock thrower who likely had responded to seeing Rostami locking their car door, they told police.
Chamberlin said large events at several downtown venues emptied out about the same time.
The police department received criticism for its handling of the case after the story broke in the Pilot May 1, Chamberlin said. The department received comments that "Norfolk is unsafe" and "the Police Department does nothing to fight crime."
She said that is not true and stated that she is proud of their work, WAVY reported.
Pilot editor Denis Finley earlier said the newspaper reported the incident after doing “due diligence” on the story.
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