Deputies: Clover High student slammed boy to ground in 'premeditated' assault at school

jmcfadden@heraldonline.com, rsouthmayd@heraldonline.comMay 13, 2014 

Arkiva Hunter

— The Clover High School freshman charged with attempted murder slammed his victim to the floor of a school hallway and kept hitting him, sending the boy to the hospital, according to an arrest warrant.

Arkiva Rashon “AJ” Hunter, 16, was released from jail on a $15,000 bond, authorities said Wednesday.

Deputies went to Clover High School at about 8:15 a.m. Tuesday after an “altercation” between two students, York County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Trent Faris said.

Detectives were still investigating the attack on Wednesday, Faris said, adding that the victim, a junior, was “unaware of the approaching attack.”

The assault was described as “premeditated” in a sheriff’s office incident report, which indicated that several students recorded the attack.

At one point during the attack, the warrant states, Hunter picked up the 16-year-old victim and slammed his head onto the concrete floor. Hunter then continued hitting the boy in the head afterward with his fist, “causing great bodily injury, which was life threatening.”

No weapons were used.

The victim was taken by ambulance to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. His condition was not available Wednesday, but Faris said deputies last noted Tuesday that he was awake and able to speak.

Deputies took Hunter into custody and filed charges against him Tuesday.

Hunter will be tried in General Sessions Court as an adult because the attempted murder charge carries a sentence of more than 15 years in prison and is considered a serious offense, said 16th Circuit Deputy Solicitor Willy Thompson.

A relative at Hunter’s house Wednesday afternoon said he was not there.

Clover school officials have refused to answer questions about the attack – which was witnessed by other students – other than to say that classes were not disrupted.

Parents received no information about the attack from the district until about noon Wednesday – some 28 hours after the attack.

The first official notification to parents came in a statement from Clover High Principal Mark Hopkins, distributed by email and social media.

“There is a great deal of misinformation and rumor circulating in conversations both online and offline,” Hopkins wrote. “I want you to know the injured student is recovering and that the sheriff's office is coordinating the investigation into the altercation.”

He then encouraged thoughts for the families before encouraging the “Blue Eagle community” to focus on exams, graduation and the “high character we have come to know and expect from each of our students.”

Rachel Southmayd contributed.

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