DENVER – The two suspects accused of attacking a high school student on an RTD bus in what Denver Public Schools called a race-based attack have been arrested and are being held for investigation on charges.
Dericon Steel, 47, and Will Kee, 37, were arrested Wednesday in connection to the alleged assault--three days after authorities released surveillance images of the two men suspected in the attack.
Steel is being held for investigation of third-degree assault and child abuse charges, while Kee is being held for investigation of harassment.
According to a probable cause statement for Kee’s arrest, the student got onto RTD Bus No. 11 near E. Louisiana Ave. and S. Humboldt St. around 3 p.m. last Wednesday.
According to the teen and friend he was with, the teen started to “play with the rear door and he got on and off the bus a few times” because the bus was crowded.
Two men—allegedly Kee and Steel—confronted the teen, claiming that he hadn’t paid to get on the bus, according to the probable cause statement.
The teen said he had an all-day pass, and one of the men told him, “Watch how you talk to me, boy,” according to the police statement.
They all began cussing at each other and threatening each other, according to the police statement, when one of the men allegedly threw the teen against the side of the bunch. They began to fight. At one point, one of the suspects allegedly called the teen the "n-word."
One of the men allegedly grabbed the teen by his hair and dragged him up the bus stairs, while the other began kicking him. The fight continued until the two men “decided to leave,” according to the probable cause statement.
On Wednesday, police were able to identify Kee as one of the suspects while doing a neighborhood survey.
Kee has a history of assault, domestic violence and trespassing charges, while Steel has a history of DUI and assault convictions, among others.
The extent of the victim’s injuries isn’t known, but he did make it back to school the next day, police noted.
DPS Superintendent Tom Boasberg released the following statement about the assault after it happened:
“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.”