Attack on boy operating lemonade stand investigated as possible hate crime

A bizarre attack on a 12-year-old boy operating a lemonade stand in Fairfax County is being investigated as a possible hate crime, according to a search warrant filed in Fairfax County court.

The boy and a sibling had set up the stand in the courtyard of the Camden Monument Place Apartments in the 12000 block of Monument Drive on July 6 when a person wearing a full-body leotard decorated with a design of the internal human anatomy exited one of the complex’s buildings about 6:30 p.m., the warrant said. The outfit concealed the person’s identity.

The person approached the stand holding a red balloon, prompting the 12-year-old to say “do not throw that at me,” according to the warrant.

The person then threw the balloon at the boy, hitting him in the thigh, the search warrant said. The person then retreated back into the same building he left. The boy told investigators he smelled of urine after the attack.

A few minutes later, the boy said he heard a male voice coming from the second or third floor of the same building, yelling, “Go back to Africa you [expletives]! It was only piss.”

Another witness confirmed the boy’s account of events, according to the search warrant.

Detectives investigating the incident interviewed Camden Monument’s community manager, who said the same person had been seen in and around the courtyard on several other occasions.

In each incident, the person was wearing the same leotard. The manager also said the person had thrown a balloon in the courtyard on another occasion. The balloon did not explode and no one was hit.

The boy’s father reported the incident to police, said Lucy Caldwell, a Fairfax police spokeswoman.

Police are continuing to investigate, but no arrests have been made in the case.

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