NORTH EAST — A 16-year-old boy is charged as an adult in connection with the beating of a homeless man outside a North East-area liquor store – an attack that was videotaped by one of the suspect’s three companions and then posted on Snapchat, which, in turn, helped investigators solve the case, according to Cecil County Circuit Court records.
The 8-second-long video allegedly shows Antonio Lawrence Borom “stomping and kicking” the prone 55-year-old man on Oct. 1 outside Howard’s Market on Mauldin Avenue, Assistant State’s Attorney Nancy Olin reported Wednesday during the teen’s bail review hearing.
At one point in the video, Borom allegedly kicks the unconscious man in the side of his head, Olin told Cecil County Circuit Court Judge William W. Davis Jr., while arguing that Borom should continue to be held without bond.
In addition, the footage shows two of Borom’s companions, ages 16 and 15, attacking the man, too, according to prosecutors. The older of those two teens also allegedly kicks the unconscious man in the head, prosecutors reported.
Those two teens and the 15-year-old boy who reportedly videotaped the incident with a cell phone camera have been referred to Cecil County Department of Juvenile Services caseworkers, who will determine the most appropriate way to handle their cases.
Borom is charged as an adult with first-degree assault, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct, according to a Cecil County grand jury indictment handed up against the teen on Nov. 13. Maryland State Police investigators arrested Borom a day later, court records show.
Under state law, a minor who is at least 16 years old and is accused of committing certain serious offenses, including murder, rape and first-degree assault, can be charged as an adult and he or she can be incarcerated in a detention center, instead of a juvenile hall.
Investigators have not released a motive for the alleged attack on the man, who reportedly refused medical treatment, but did make arrangements to live with a relative.
Held without bond
Borom was held without bond in the Wicomico County Detention Center, instead of the Cecil County Detention Center, because it has a wing designated for juveniles who are charged as adults.
Borom had been a pretrial inmate at the Wicomico jail for about six days, when he appeared for his second bail review hearing in five days on Wednesday.
After hearing arguments from Olin and Borom’s assistant public defender, Gary Brown, the judge opted to arrange for the teen’s transfer to the Charles H. Hickey Jr. School, a juvenile detention hall for males near Baltimore. Borom, however, remains classified as an adult criminal court defendant.
Before announcing his decision, Davis acknowledged that Olin had argued “emphatically” for keeping Borom jailed without bond.
“He is an extreme danger to the public,” Olin told the judge.
The prosecutor reported that Borom has an extensive juvenile record marked by violent crimes and that he recently violated electronic monitoring in one of his juvenile assault cases by leaving his North East-area residence without permission.
‘Like it was a badge of glory’
Olin had asked to show the video of the attack to Davis in the courtroom, contending that it would convince the judge to keep Borom in custody. Brown objected to the proposed showing of the video, listing numerous reasons, including that he hadn’t been given the opportunity to view it ahead of time.
Davis concluded that showing the video would not be necessary.
Explaining her reason for wanting to show the video of the attack, Olin commented, “It doesn’t do it justice in words, not like the video would.”
At one point, Olin referred to the footage and outlined, “(Borom) hits and kicks the subject while he is unconscious . . . Then (the video) is put on Snapchat — like it was a badge of glory, something he should be proud of.”
Olin also remarked, “The best way to see his propensity for violence is to watch the video. It’s the best evidence to see his propensity for violence. He is a significant danger to public safety.”
Brown reminded the judge that, despite the serious criminal charges against him, Borom is only 16 years old and that he has “a lot of life left” in which he could make positive changes. Brown reported that Borom had been trying to gain employment at a McDonald’s, before his arrest.
Court records indicate that MSP detectives started their investigation on Oct. 1, after a patron in the drive-thru lane at a McDonald’s adjacent to Howard’s Market witnessed the alleged group beating of the man from a distance and called 911.
The suspects were gone when investigators arrived.
School helped identify the teen
A day later, however, MSP detectives caught a break in the case when school teachers and administrators at The Providence School, north of Elkton, where Borom is a student, saw the 8-second-long video of the beating that had been posted on Snapchat and recognized him, court records show.
Those school officials then notified Sr. Deputy Derek Minker of the Cecil County Sheriff’s Office, who is a school resource officer assigned to the Providence School, and he, in turn, contacted MSP detectives after learning that they were investigating an Oct. 1 beating outside Howard’s Market, according to court records.
That led to more investigation and, most recently, a decision to present the case against Borom to the grand jury.
At the conclusion of Wednesday’s bail review hearing, as a correctional officer was preparing to escort Borom from the courtroom, a woman who identified herself as the teen’s mother stood up from her pew and spoke across the room to her son.
“Mommy loves you. Pray. God is in control,” she told him.