Judge orders home confinement for 14-year-old Chatham boy accused of trying to drown Black teen

A Barnstable judge has ordered home confinement for a 14-year-old boy accused of attempted murder and holding a Black teenage boy underwater while calling him racial slurs back in July.

John Sheeran, 14, was released to home confinement to live with his father in Chatham following his arraignment on Monday. Conditions of his release included wearing a GPS monitoring device, continue reporting to juvenile probation, and being confined to his father’s home in Chatham except for medical and legal appointments.

Prosecutors tried to get the judge to keep Sheeran in jail, arguing that he’s a danger to the community, after Boston 25 learned Monday that Sheeran went on to attack another child of a different race – that same night – after the alleged incident involving the Black teen.

Despite the prosecutor’s concerns over Sheeran’s violence towards others, the judge ruled he can be released as long as he follows the conditions for his release.

‘Racially-motivated’: Teen facing attempted murder charge tried to drown Black juvenile, DA says

Sheeran is charged with attempted murder and a civil rights violation, after prosecutors said he tried to drown a Black child on July 19 at Goose Pond in Chatham.

Prosecutors said the victim thought he was meeting up with friends at the pond that day.

Shortly after getting there, the victim told police Sheeran started throwing rocks at him and calling him racial slurs. The victim told police that Sheeran “continued to throw stones and threatened to beat me up.”

The victim couldn’t swim so he wore a life jacket in the water, but the victim told police Sheeran tried to pull him under water multiple times, to the point where he couldn’t breathe.

Sheeran “held on to my life jacket and pulled me under water and back up about 4-5 times… while doing it water got into my mouth and nose and I could not breathe,” the victim told police.

The victim says Sheeran started calling him ‘George Floyd’ while kicking him and pushing him under water.

The victim told police he was shouting over and over again that he couldn’t breathe. He said that’s when the suspect and another teen “starting laughing and called me George Floyd.”

The victim said Sheeran and another kid came toward him again trying to pull him back under water, and he called out for help.

Eventually, bystanders were able to come help rescue the victim from the water.

Prosecutors also say later that night, Sheeran punched an Asian child in the face.

“Mr. Sheeran can’t be out in the community because whether it’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon at a pond with his friends where he should be able to behave or 8:15 at night when he runs into another child, he punches that kid, he’s a violent child, we’ve heard no mitigating factors, this violence is unfortunately targeted towards children of other races, children that don’t look like him,” Assistant District Attorney Eileen Moriarty said in court.

Sheeran had just moved to Florida with his mother this summer while his parents are going through a divorce, prosecutors said.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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