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Attack on Tosa West runner racially motivated, police say

Oct. 22, 2009

Brookfield — An attack on an African-American student from Wauwatosa West High School appears to be racially motivated, Brookfield police said Thursday.

According to Capt. Jim Adlam:

Four male Wauwatosa West students - the African-American student and three white students - were running near the pavilion area of Lamplighter Park about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Three white males in a black four-door vehicle swerved at the runners and at least one of the males yelled racial slurs. The vehicle stopped and a fight ensued, Adlam said.

While the 18-year-old African-American student was being attacked, one of his classmates, 17, intervened.

The 17-year-old was punched by one of the males from the vehicle and told police he was knocked out. He later received stitches at Froedtert Hospital for lacerations to his upper lip.

A neighbor who saw the fight called police. The males in the vehicle fled and are being sought by police.

One of the students said he thought that one of the males in the vehicle was a former Wauwatosa West student, but that he didn't know his name. However, West High School principal Pat Luebke said one of the students told school officials the suspects are not former West High students.

Luebke said the students who were running are members of the cross-country team who were doing a regular training run. The school is about two miles southeast of the park.

Luebke said the school is investigating a report that a bottle was thrown at the African-American student during another recent training run. No such report was made to the school at the time, she said.

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