Arizona Man Assaults Two Teenage Boys For ‘Ding-Dong Ditch’ Prank
A 22-year-old Arizona man has been arrested for reportedly beating two teenage boys who rang his doorbell and ran away.
Johnathan LaRocque was taken into custody by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department this week and charged with aggravated assault for beating up two 13-year-old boys in Queen Creek, AZ who rang his doorbell and ran away. The injuries sustained by the boys were not life-threatening, though one boy identified as Naidem was taken to the hospital for treatment. As reported by KDFW, Naidem's mother told the local Fox affiliate that she now fears for her family's safety from LaRocque,
He's obviously a crazy man, so anyone who would do this to a small kid is not in their right mind.
According to AZ Central, court documents detail the assault saying that the two boys were part of a group of kids playing "ding-dong ditch" in the neighborhood. LaRocque punched the first boy in the head, then started punching the second as the first ran away. After the second boy, likely Naidem, fell to the ground, Larocque then dragged the boy down the street to find his parents. LaRocque said he found the boys by his girlfriend's car and went to check on it, and then chased the boys down.
Brian and Melissa Moore, who hosted the birthday party the teens were attending at the time of the assault, said the incident has terrified the neighborhood, especially their son who witnessed the attack,
Naidem couldn't even talk. All he could say was 'I want my parents, I want my family'. He was scared to death. - Brian Moore
Our son wants us to move off this street. He doesn't feel safe. He hardly would go to school today. He's been sleeping with me every night. I have to literally hold him every night. - Melissa Moore
LaRocque is currently on probation for a 2017 drug violation, and is due in court on May 16th for a preliminary hearing.
Public response to the incident has been mixed, with people online condemning the children for getting what was coming to them for pranking people, while others have expressed sympathy and support for the children, citing the pranks as harmless fun. A GoFund Me page was set up for Naidem.