DeKALB – Video of an alleged hate-crime incident outside the Hopkins Pool on June 5 shows Jeremy Lloyd and a girl walking away from a group of boys just before they catch up and a fight breaks out.
The video shows one of the boys in the group punch Lloyd. Another boy throws a punch, then grabs Lloyd by the waist and they tumble together down a hill. Others in the group surround Lloyd. The camera feed goes askew at this point, while screams erupt from the crowd of teens, and someone shouts "he's got a knife!"
Three teenage boys were wounded in the incident. Prosecutors say they suffered slash wounds at the hands of Lloyd, 18, of the 800 block of West Hillcrest Drive in DeKalb, who initially faced several assault charges. Those charges were dropped, with DeKalb County prosecutors instead asked he be charged with a hate crime. Authorities say Lloyd, who is white, repeatedly referred to black boys in the fight using a racial slur.
If convicted, Lloyd could face 2 to 5 years in prison.
Two of the injured boys, who were wearing swimming trunks at the time, were sent to Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital, and the mother of one of the injured boys said her 15-year-old son underwent surgery for a slash wound which cut his knee to the bone.
DeKalb County State’s Attorney Rick Amato said the investigation is still ongoing and urged anyone who has information or whose child was involved to contact DeKalb Police at 815-748-8400.
"This is a great concern to me, and we're taking the investigation very seriously," Amato said Thursday. "DeKalb police are working very hard to make sure we have this thoroughly investigated. Violence is never the answer to any problem and our whole community needs to take this time to give some pause."
Lifeguard whistles from the pool area can be heard in the background in the video.
Amy Doll, the executive director of the DeKalb Park District, which owns the pool and park, said pool staff called 911 and lifeguards on duty administered first aid to the wounded boys before first responders arrived.
She said her staff are not trained to respond to criminal activity, only first aid.
"Typically, there are between nine and 12 lifeguards on duty, a pool manager and one or two cashiers," Doll said. "They're only responsible for the pool area. Our lifeguards aren't there for security. They don't have the training."
Doll said in the days immediately after the stabbing, the DeKalb Police Department sent extra patrols to the area, and officers even walked the pool deck as a precaution, but otherwise it's been business as usual.