QUEEN CREEK, Ariz. (KSAZ) - Warning: Story contains graphic content. Discretion is advised.
Authorities say a Queen Creek man was arrested after he assaulted two juveniles who rang his door bell and ran away as a prank.
According to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, 22-year-old Johnathan Larocque was arrested after he assaulted two kids who rang his door bell and ran away from his home near Ellsworth and Riggs Roads on May 5. The man has since made his first appearance in court.
MCSO says a group of kids were going through the neighborhood and ringing door bells as a prank and after they rang Larocque's door bell, he caught up with two of them and assaulted them. The incident reportedly happened during a birthday party in Queen Creek.
The kids' injuries were not life-threatening, but one of them was transported to a hospital for treatment.
Larocque was arrested and booked into jail on two counts of aggravated assault. According to court paperwork, however, Larocque is claiming the boys were around his girlfriend's car, and he gave chase.
"He's healing. He's alive, and we're thankful he's alive and he's going to be OK," said the mother of 13-year-old Naidem, one of the victims. The mother, who spoke with FOX 10 in a phone interview, said she is worried for her family's safety, once Larocque, the man who allegedly beat her son, gets out of jail.
"He's obviously a crazy man, so anyone who would do this to a small kid is not in their right mind," said the mother.
"Naidem couldn't even talk," said Brian Moore, whose son witnessed the beating. "All he could say was 'I want my parents, I want my family'. He was scared to death."
The Moores, who threw the party, said the incident has rocked the community, and they said their children are traumatized as well.
"Our son wants us to move off this street. He doesn't feel safe," said Melissa Moore. "He hardly would go to school today. He's been sleeping with me every night. I have to literally hold him every night."
GoFundMe for Queen Creek assault victim