A 19-year-old from Rockingham County was charged with assault and two others with drunk in public following a Saturday night altercation in which a group of homecoming-bound teens were accosted with racial slurs and inappropriate sexual comments.
According to reports by the Sheriff’s Office and Virginia State Police, three 19-year-old men were leaving the Velocity Wings restaurant in Lovettsville around 7:15 p.m. Oct. 9 when they encountered a group of teens heading to Loudoun Valley High School’s homecoming dance. The older teens harassed the younger group and a physical altercation ensued between. An older adult male—an off-duty federal law enforcement officer—who was in the area stepped in to break up the brawl and was struck by one of the 19-year-olds.
A Virginia State Police trooper was the first to arrive on the scene and charged Adams Simmers, 19, of Rockingham County, with assault of the federal officer, who was not injured. Two other older teens left the scene, but were tracked down by Loudoun deputies. All three suspects were charged with being drunk in public, as well.
The family of the juvenile who was involved in the fight declined to pursue charges, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Reports of the incident on social media sparked outrage, although there are differing accounts about whether the altercation was primarily spurred by sexual harassment or the racial slurs by the suspects.
“Hate has no home in Lovettsville. These boys were 15 and going to homecoming, Racism doesn’t belong here. Hatred, violence and that kind of behavior doesn’t belong in Lovettsville,” one resident wrote in a widely shared post about the incident.
“I was there. Right at the scene. And it was my daughter and her friends who were involved. Somehow, what was truly sexual assault is being turned into a race issue. It makes me, my daughter, and her friends really upset that people who weren’t even there would twist this away from what these young gentlemen (her friends) were trying to defend — a teenaged girl who was being disgustingly, verbally assaulted by an adult male. Thanks for making the female/victim feel unseen,” a witness wrote on Facebook.
Uproar over the incident also prompted the owners of Velocity Wings to issue a statement denouncing “racism, violence and even unkind words.”
“We follow the rules of common human courtesy. There is no place here for anything other than good. Not today, not last night, and not ever. Violence should not happen to anyone, anywhere, ever. That is our position and has been since we opened our doors at our first restaurant more than 30 years ago,” they wrote.