Two Teens in Klan Outfits Used a Stun Gun on a Black Classmate. Now They Face Hate-Crime Charges.

Two Teens in Klan Outfits Used a Stun Gun on a Black Classmate. Now They Face Hate-Crime Charges.

By Michael Hall

As the one-minute video begins, a young Black male is backpedaling through the grass and a figure in a white sheet is approaching him. The figure is wearing a droopy hood with a pointy top and holes cut out for eyes. “That’s not funny. Stop!” says the Black teenager, who is dressed in jeans and a long-sleeved shirt. He has a friend with him: a thin, young white male, who wanders in and out of the frame and occasionally tries to intervene.

The action is being filmed on a cellphone by a girl, who tells the Black kid, “If you say their names, they’re gonna tase you.” Then there’s the crackle of a stun gun being fired. “Get closer,” she says, and the gun is fired again. The Black young man keeps backing away.

“Surround him,” the girl says. “Surround him!” She giggles. Now a second figure in a white sheet and hood comes into the frame. In one hand, he’s holding a small purple device. A rapid-fire crackle rings out.

“Chill!” the Black teenager yells as the hooded figure with the purple device lunges for him, making a loud “Ah!” sound.

“KKK,” the girl announces.

“That’s not funny,” says the Black teen’s friend. The hooded figures ignore him.

“Wait,” says the girl to one of the white-sheeted figures, “get on this side of him.” Then, to the other: “Get on that side.” At that point, one of the figures approaches the young Black man, reaches toward him, and zaps him. “Ooh!” he calls out, recoiling, inspiring the girl to giggle even louder.

Chill,” the Black teenager says again, now sounding agitated. “Chill!” He turns his back on his tormentors and begins walking away as the video, obtained exclusively by Texas Monthly, ends.

It was Halloween night in Woodsboro, a South Texas town of 1,400 that’s forty miles north of Corpus Christi and proclaims itself, on a large stone sign in the town square, “The Friendly City.” The teenagers in the video all knew each other. They attended Woodsboro High School (enrollment 131), and the Black kid and the two boys in sheets played on the football team. The girl was sixteen; her compatriots were both seventeen. One boy is white: Rance Bolcik, whose grandfather is Robert Bolcik, Refugio County’s sheriff from 2011 to 2019. The other is Hispanic: Noel Garcia Jr., a running back and baseball pitcher for Woodsboro High. Their target, the Black kid, was sixteen. His identity, like the girl’s, has been withheld by authorities.

Three days later, Corpus Christi civil attorney Matthew Manning, who had heard about the incident from a client in Refugio, a town five minutes from Woodsboro, began posting about it on Facebook. “It’s my understanding,” he wrote, “that a young black teenage boy may’ve been tazed, terrorized, and menaced by three kids dressed as Klansmen in or near Woodsboro, TX on Halloween night, as he was trick or treating.”

A handful of local residents responded with outrage. “This is an organized hate crime,” one commented, adding: “This was completely unacceptable!!!” Another wrote that she had been born and raised in Woodsboro, but “never in my 60+ years have I ever seen or heard of an incident like this.” Some folks said they had seen the white-sheeted teens on Halloween. One wrote that she had spied them walking that night on Locke Street. “When I passed them, they pointed the taser at my car and you could hear the sound.” Another wrote that the perpetrators were “walking around with their heads held high repeatedly heard saying ‘nothing is going to happen, no one’s going to do anything about it.’”

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https://www.texasmonthly.com/news-politics/two-refugio-county-teens-wore-klan-outfits-and-used-a-stun-gun-on-a-black-classmate-now-they-face-hate-crime-charges/

 

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