Chase Coleman was just like any other freshmen athlete in high school — he loved to stay active.
The 15-year-old student finally found his sport after realizing the he excelled at track and field. Nothing could hold Coleman back from success, but his nonverbal autism meant that he had a little more of a disadvantage than others.
Earlier this month, Coleman was running in a cross country race in Rochester, New York and got lost. A middle-aged stranger attacked him, according to reports, the man got out of his car, shoved Chase down in the road and yelled “get out of here” before driving off. Discouraged by the horrific incident, the young track star decided to hand in his uniform and quit the team.
Chase’s mom, Clarise Coleman, says that after noticing her son wasn’t on the field running with the rest of his team, “I asked, ‘Is Chase okay? I check his body. I’m checking his face. I pulled his shirt. ‘Show Mommy where Chase hurts.’ ” Chase responded, telling his mom that his back hurt. After discovering what had happened to her son, Clarise wants to know why Rochester authorities refuse to press charges against the man who admitted to pushing Chase.
Despite Coleman’s request, 57-year-old Martin MacDonald of suburban Pittsford was not charged and Rochester City Court Judge Caroline Morrison denied a requested arrest warrant charging MacDonald for second-degree harassment. Clarise believes that it’s because her son is black and disabled. She told reporters, “If that man had been black and Chase had been white, and that (police) report went in, he’d have been in jail.” City officials in Chase’s hometown of Syracuse also expressed concern following the incident. City council Susan Boyle, wrote a letter to Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley this week deploring what Boyle called “a racist, aggressive, unprovoked attack on a disabled African American minor with absolutely no consequences.”
The incident report says “When [the deputy] asked[MacDonald] why he did that, he replied that he thought Chase was going to mug his wife and take her purse. MacDonald’s wife was sitting in the front passenger seat at the time of the [incident]. When [the deputy] asked him why he thought that, MacDonald told him that some youths had broke into his car recently and that crossed his mind. MacDonald went on to say that Chase wasn’t responding to him telling him to move out of the road.”
Although Chase is unable to verbalize it, the situation traumatized him so much that he hasn’t returned to the track team. After having her arrest warrant request denied,Clarise is happy that Rochester police decided that they will renew their investigation into the incident.
Source: Washington Post |PHOTOCREDIT: Getty, Twitter