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Bus passengers defend black Denver student from race-based attack, superintendent says

Posted at 3:07 PM, Aug 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-28 07:18:37-04

DENVER – Denver bus riders came to the aid of a black student Wednesday when South High School officials say an older white man targeted and assaulted him. 

According to the district, several students from South High School boarded a Regional Transportation District bus after school Wednesday afternoon. During that ride, one student faced racial slurs and eventually came under attack by the older white man on the bus.

Bus passengers, including several Denver Public Schools students, quickly intervened, defending the student. Soon after, the bus driver pulled over, prompting the attacker to leave the bus, police said.

Witnesses told police the older man singled out the African American student based solely on race.

The extent of the victim’s injuries is not known, however he did make it back to school the next day, police noted.

Denver Public Schools Superintendent Tom Boasberg released the following statement about the assault:

We are outraged and deeply concerned about this apparently racially motivated attack on one of our students, and I have talked personally with Denver Police Chief Robert White about the attack. We are working closely with Denver Police and RTD to identify the attacker and, once apprehended, we will continue to work with them to ensure the assailant is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

School authorities said they're working with police to ensure the safety of the students and to investigate the attack. According to police, RTD already committed to placing additional security on the bus route. 

A search is now on for the suspect, but the public — especially those who were on the bus during the attack — is encouraged to come forward with information.