By Kevin Lewis, ABC 7
FREDERICK COUNTY, Md. — The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office has charged two teens for the random, unprovoked physical attack of a man at the Great Frederick Fair.
The victim was found near the midway area of the fairgrounds around 5:36 p.m. Friday, lying unconscious. Police interviewed multiple witnesses who told them the victim had been minding his own business.
On Monday, the Frederick County Sheriff’s identified the victim as 59-year-old John Marvin Weed of Mt. Airy, Maryland.
BREAKING: @FredCoSheriff has charged a 15yo + 16yo boy for the random, unprovoked attack of a 59yo man at the Great Frederick Fair.
That man died today at Shock Trauma in Baltimore.
Sources say the teens (currently in juvenile custody) may have been playing the “knockout game.” pic.twitter.com/58tI0FPeT5
— Kevin Lewis (@ABC7Kevin) September 22, 2019
Maryland State Police airlifted the victim to R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore where he died from his injuries Saturday. An autopsy is now scheduled at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to determine an exact cause of death.
According to law enforcement sources, the two teenage suspects, ages 15 and 16, may have been playing the so-called “knockout game” at the time of the wanton attack. A spokesperson for the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office would not confirm that notion but stated it would “certainly be looked at.”
Authorities have charged the 15-year-old with first-degree assault, second-degree assault and reckless endangerment. The 16-year-old is charged with second-degree assault. Prosecutors may very well tack on additional counts — such as manslaughter or murder — in light of the victim’s death. Both teens are currently in the custody of the Department of Juvenile Services pending a hearing in Frederick County Circuit Court.
No weapons are thought to have been used in the assault.
Sources tell ABC7 that two Snapchat videos captured the attack as it unfolded in vivid detail. That video helped identify the teenage suspects involved, sources further shared.
Photos obtained by ABC7 show more than 20 uniformed officers at the fairgrounds and one of the suspects being led away in handcuffs.
“The Great Frederick Fair’s number one priority is the safety and security of our guests,” officials stated in a post on the fair’s Facebook Page. “To dispel rumors of the events of last night, while there was an assault, there was NO shooting and NO stabbing. The team of security and law enforcement was able to respond rapidly to control and contain the incident. The investigation into this incident remains active and any further information regarding the assault will be released from the Sheriff’s Office.”
Anyone with information related to this fatal assault is asked to contact Frederick County Detective Jen Skelley at 301-600-1046, or through the tip line at 301-600-4131.
Both teenage suspects live in an apartment building along Taney Avenue in Frederick. On Sunday afternoon, people inside of that unit could be heard discussing the criminal case.
“He was only trying to protect his brother,” a man stated. “This is ridiculous.”
ABC7’s knocks at the front door went unanswered.
EMERGENCY RESPONSE RADIO TRAFFIC:
Dispatcher: “We have reports of a cardiac arrest. It originally came in across the street from the fairgrounds: 502 East Patrick. Now they’re saying that the phone is hitting in the area of the area of the Ferris wheel.”
Deputy: “Sheriff’s department was just notified of an assault in progress by the Ferris wheel as well.”
Dispatcher: “We’re trying to determine if they’re related.”
Dispatcher: “Units responding to 502 East Patrick, it’s now reported to be inside the fairground.”
Dispatcher: “Based on the four different callers that we currently have, it seems that the cardiac arrest and the assault in progress are one in the same.”
Deputy: “We’re getting reports these were [Governor Thomas Johnson High School] students who sucker punched somebody and they were out cold.”
Deputy: “Do you want to start aviation for that?”
Deputy: “Yeah that’s probably a good idea to get aviation started. They could probably just meet them at the hanger.”
Deputy: “We’re trying to make our way through this crowd first.”
Dispatcher: “And they have contacted Trooper 2 with a 28-minute ETA to the hanger.”
Deputy: “I’ve got one suspect in custody.”