Five middle school students are facing hate crime charges after what was believed to be a racially motivated attack against another group of kids in Coconut Creek.
Police said the incident happened Wednesday morning at the Coconut Creek Recreation Center, which is a short walk away from Lyons Creek Middle School.
The arrest reports from Coconut Creek Police stated the victims were "racially profiled." According to the reports, the students told police that the other students approached them, yelling, “It’s opposite day!” and “brown power!”
"The group looked at (the student) and stated “he is white” before another student "tackled him to the ground which subsequently allowed the group of middle school kids to start hitting him with their hands, feet and phone chargers," the reports said.
Get South Florida local news, weather forecasts and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC South Florida newsletters.
One student said he was attacked after he was dropped off at the center before classes. He told NBC 6 that a group of guys from his school ran over to "jump" him and another group of students.
The attackers hit and kicked him, and yelled things that made him believe that he was being targeted because he is white, the student said.
"I put my hands up so they don't whack my face," he said. "After they jumped me, they said, this is, like, revenge for what they did in the 1700s for slavery."
Five kids have been charged with battery, but on the arrest report, it says "with prejudice," which elevates the charge to a felony.
There were no serious injuries reported.
Broward County Public Schools said in a statement that this was an off-campus incident that police and fire responded to. The principal of the school sounded out a robocall to make parents aware of the incident, saying they are always working to provide a safe and secure learning environment and will work to ensure that any off-campus incidents do not impact students at the middle school.
"They can't do anything to the other kids because it didn't happen on school property," said Frank Foster, who said his kid was attacked. "He wants to go back to school there because all of his friends are there, but he doesn't feel safe. There's an opportunity to move out, but that seems like a punishment."