UPDATE: Cops: Classmate Forced Brother Rice Student to Wear a Noose

Police charged three teens with perpetrating a hate crime in a Dec. 23 incident. A Brother Rice student was the victim and one of the accused was a classmate.

A senior at Brother Rice High School visiting a friend’s home late last year found himself in a life-threatening situation.

According to Chicago Police, Joshua Merritt, 17, was the victim of a hate crime at about 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 23, 1600 block of W. 100th Pl. WGN-TV reported that this happened at the home of a Cook County State's Attorney's office employee.

After investigating the matter for weeks, police arrested a young man and two juveniles.

Police arrested Matthew Herrmann, 18, of Alsip and charged him with battery, felony unlawful restraint and felony hate crime.

FOX Chicago News reported that the three suspects put a noose around Merritt’s neck twice, wouldn’t allow him to leave, and used the N-word several times as they threatened to kill him.

“He walks over to me, with the noose in his hand, he comes puts the noose around my neck and he begins to tighten the noose, almost strangled me to the ground,” Merritt told FOX Chicago News.

Merritt, 17, is a senior at Brother Rice. He said his attackers, one of whom also went to Brother Rice, were all white, according to the report. Officials did not specify who the Brother Rice student was, stating that they "don't release that type of information." However, James Antos, principal of Brother Rice High School said one alumnus was involved and the third was a student at another high school.

Merritt told FOX Chicago News that his friendship with a female white cousin of a 16-year-old charged in the case had possibly sparked the incident, the report said.

According to FOX Chicago, Merritt said when got out of the house and went to catch a bus home, the 16-year-old "comes up to me with a knife, from behind me and said 'stop talking to my cousin. You're annoying her, if you don't stop I'm going to kill you.'”

The report said that is continuing to look into the matter.

Renita Young January 26, 2012 at 06:18 PM
According to James Antos, Brother Rice Principal, one of the students involved was a current Brother Rice student, another involved was a Rice alumnus and another was a student from a different school. We don't yet know exactly which one Herrmann was. One could speculate, but we do not have proof.
Mitch January 26, 2012 at 06:29 PM
I graduated with Hermann, and this kid does not represent Rice at all. He is the same kid who laughed when our fellow classmate died because he said he deserved it. This kid is scum.
Bless January 26, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Renita Mr. James Antos, will get to the bottom of this and I am sure that he will do the right thing. So much hatred in the world and little less love and respect, such a shame! I don't understand why young men would resource to doing this and then think that they would not be caught. What is this world coming to. I have just about every race culture in my family and I love it. I attend a church mix with many different culture and I love my church. My grand children are mix and I love it. God does look at what color we are , then throw us in a group of the same culture. I feel sorry for all these kids. I'll pray that God will put love in their hearts to love all race and pray that they tell this young man that they are very sorry.
Bless January 26, 2012 at 06:32 PM
We will be praying for him, because if he doesn't stop the gate way to hell will swallow him up and vomit him out. He won't have anyone to save him then!
paul January 26, 2012 at 06:37 PM
The man in the picture does not go to Rice. They would not allow beards or long hair.
paul January 26, 2012 at 06:40 PM
John Cappas a south side drug lord went to Marist. Marist did not sanction his actions or teach drug distribution. The Unabomber went to Evergreen Park HS. He was not taught bomb making at EPHS. They do not teach knot tieing, lynching or hate crimes at Rice. This summer some Mt Carmel kids started a fight on the beach in Indiana and some one died. It is not a Mt C issue either. It appears to be a hate crime, but MC does not teach or preach it. THe high school is meaningless.
Billy Murphy January 26, 2012 at 06:54 PM
Matthew Herrmann, as pictured, definitely went to Brother Rice; however, he graduated maybe 8 or so months ago, thus why his hair is so long and he isn't shaven.
Billy Murphy January 26, 2012 at 06:56 PM
Th man pictured is one of the attackers, not the victim. He graduated last year, which is why he isn't adhering to Brother Rice's hair policies.
Billy Murphy January 26, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Herrmann is the alumnus that is pictured. I graduated with him.
Joe January 26, 2012 at 08:42 PM
The media should have left the name of Brother Rice out of the story. How was that information pertinent? Is it because 3 of the 4 people went there. Now people are going to assume ti is a bad school even though it is one of the best schools in the area. Congratulations to the media for tainting Brother Rice in these HARD ECONOMIC TIMES......
Abe Froman January 26, 2012 at 09:49 PM
Well, lil Matthew will have plenty of brothers to fight when they get him in Cook County. I bet he's getting the welcome treatment as we speak. The guards will let everyone in the county know why he's there. Let the fun begin...
Greg January 27, 2012 at 12:00 AM
but where are all these schools located?! It is most definitely a problem with the area all these people are coming from. Southwest side of Chicago is one of the most bigoted and racist areas in the USA.
oaklawnperson January 27, 2012 at 12:52 AM
It's pertinent because that's how the alleged perpetrators and victim knew each other. Anyway, when there are attacks involving high school students, the high school is normally always mentioned, so no one is out to get Rice here.
rollindaol January 27, 2012 at 02:20 AM
i love when people say that about the County jail like they know...Hey Froman, stick to sausage....
Dennis Robaugh (Editor) January 27, 2012 at 03:09 AM
Saying that news media coverage of this case will compel people to think Brother Rice is a "bad school" is a stretch and doesn't give the reading public much credit for being able to think for themselves. The information is pertinent because the teens knew each other through their common association with the school, which is a community unto itself in many ways. The information is also pertinent because the school leadership has chosen to actively engage on the issue. Often, situations that occur outside of a school will have a significant impact on what happens in school. The fact that the principal — as you can see in a follow up post on Patch — chose to address this with the students indicates that.
tom miramontes January 27, 2012 at 03:50 AM
just another reminder of reality on the southwest side of Chicago. It's 2012, and we have the same racism that exisited in the 60's,70's. It starts at home! Brother Rice is not at fault, the parents were raised as racist, and so the beat goes on. If you grew up a south sider and a city employee, you know what I mean.
Barry Kevin January 27, 2012 at 04:09 AM
Dude... Russ Petrak was our student body president in 1975. You're obviously not of his standards, nor of ours. Bro Rice's "standards" never involved a student's degree of UGLINESS...if they did, I never would have graduated. But seriously... as the story explains, this individual was no longer a student.
Billy Murphy January 27, 2012 at 05:03 AM
Brother Rice has done fine for the past years that it's been open and it's doing fine as it is. The high school isn't the victim here.
Jim Vondracek January 27, 2012 at 02:08 PM
I agree with the comments above about the culture of racism and violence here on the southwest side. About five years ago, at a church picnic, I had to tell a fellow congregant and friend to stop using the N word. The only antidote for this is for people to clearly and definitively call out the racism when they see it and hear it.
Ed January 27, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Hey Scott, before you go leaving ignorant comments about a school you clearly know nothing about, think about what you are going to say, count to ten, and please keep your comments to yourself. Every single day we discuss how to act manfully in Christ Jesus and about respecting others. Those who choose not to listen is up to them. Quit blaming the school, the school had no involvement in these OFF CAMPUS events.
Fred Samuels January 27, 2012 at 07:15 PM
Two of three students charged, as well as the victim, attended BR, but so what.
Ed January 27, 2012 at 09:22 PM
I understand your viewpoint as a parent but things do not get swept under the rug at Rice. The attacker does not go to rice he was a grad so that is out of the schools hands, there were two other accomplices, one going to rice and the other went to a different high school. The current rice student is under investigation to see his level of involvement so the school can take just and appropriate measures. I went to brother rice, and I am still involved at the school and often go back to visit, do not let this one child sully the great name that Brother Rice has come to be.
Bless January 27, 2012 at 10:13 PM
Ed you say that you graduated from Brother Rice and you go there from time to time, doesn't mean that you actually know what is going on inside the school, only the students that are there , day to day would know. This one incident that I know so far has not made me think any less of Brother Rice, I think it is a great wonderful school and I love the school just like you do, but let's face it, there are some things that are swept under the rug and not dealth with. Trust me!
Bless January 27, 2012 at 10:18 PM
Ed those students that are doing wrong inside the school haven't got caught yet, students know what is going on, but as far as the staffs, they don't know. What I am saying it is going on in all schools throught this country, and unless students start to speak and not be afraid, it will continue to grow, but as far as Brother Rice it is a wonderful school to get a great education for those who want to learn and become sucessful.
Ed January 28, 2012 at 03:22 AM
I dont mean I just visit I'm involved in extracirriculars there and I have many friends and former teammates in school still as well as teachers and while I went there as well of the teachers or students knew something it was brought to light. People will think what they want but I'm just putting out what rele goes on. The faculty is amazing there but if people think otherwise they are wrong. Trust me. Very few schools care about their students like rice and laurence st Rita and Carmel and of people are too blinded by their own steriotypes then they are beyond my help. The school had nothing to do with this and they are still taking concequential steps. If you can't see that I fell sorry for you.
al gore January 28, 2012 at 04:04 AM
why would the victim wait so long to go to the attorities it just sounds suspisious
al gore January 28, 2012 at 04:05 AM
i think you should give both sides of the story
b obama January 28, 2012 at 04:13 AM
free the kid. the accuser is just trying to get money...
Ed January 28, 2012 at 04:22 AM
They do know all the students involved and are investigation them.
NANCY GRACE February 09, 2012 at 11:50 PM
@Paul-well said.


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