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Man attacked on light rail train suffered 11 facial fractures

Two attacks were reported and prosecutors suggested they're part of a pattern of attacks on strangers "purely for social media notoriety."

LAKEWOOD, Colo. — A total of nine juveniles have been arrested in connection with two attacks on RTD's W line.

Seven teenagers are each charged with one count of second-degree assault in connection with an attack that happened on Oct. 14. They were taken into custody at Long View High School on West 2nd Place on Friday, according to a Lakewood Police spokesman. 

The suspects range in age from 15 to 17 and were each charged with one count of second-degree assault, according to the First Judicial District Attorney's office.

A 45-year-old man was the victim of a random attack by the group of teens while riding the RTD light rail train, according to prosecutors. The victim reported the suspects pushed him out of the train at the West 13th Avenue and Garrison Street station.

An agent of the Lakewood Police Department who was conducting extra patrol at that time was flagged down to respond. The victim was taken to St. Anthony’s Hospital and treated for serious injuries.

During a court hearing Thursday, the victim said he was opposed to bond for the suspects and said, "they're not to be trusted." He also said he wanted them to be charged as adults because they attacked an adult.

Prosecutors alleged during that hearing that the incident was "part of a larger pattern of assaults on strangers purely for social media notoriety."

Four of the suspects were ordered held with no bond until their next hearing later this month. A judge granted personal recognizance bonds for the other three under strict conditions which included electronic home monitoring. They're also not allowed to take any kind of public transportation, or be on RTD property or the property of Jefferson County Schools.

Two additional juveniles, for a total of nine, have since been arrested in connection with the case. 

The last two teens arrested were in court Friday and both face charges related to the October 14 attack and another that happened on Nov. 3. During that hearing, it was revealed that the victim in the Nov. 3 attack is a 47-year-old man. As a result of the attack he suffered 11 facial fractures. Both teens were ordered held without bond.

Editor's Note: This video of the attack shows graphic violence and could be disturbing to some viewers.

Rayshanay Roberts and her sister, Rosemary Roberts, said they witnessed the October attack while riding the W Line home from school. 

“Maybe two or three weeks into the school year, the first one happened, and then it just kept building up and building up and kept going," Rayshanay Roberts said.

Rosemary Roberts said she witnessed the November attack. She said a group of boys started punching a passenger on the W Line.

“At first, they were just yelling and stuff until this one kid’s like, ‘you know what, I’m just going to get this started,'" Rosemary Roberts said. "He punches him and that’s when they all started ganging up on him.”

The victims' injuries were significant in both attacks, police said.

Due to the suspects' ages, no names are being released.

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