(NewsNation) — Georgia police have announced arrests of five people in the case of a Georgia teenager subjected to violent bullying that led to him being hospitalized in the ICU.
The arrests stem from a party that left 19-year-old Trent Lehrkamp hospitalized with a blood alcohol content more than five times the legal limit.
James and Lauren Strother, who own the home where the incident took place, were arrested on charges of maintaining a disorderly house and contributing to the delinquency or dependency of a minor. Edward Rooker Hobby, 17, was also arrested and charged with batter in an investigation that began in connection to the Lehrkamp case.
Two juvenile offenders were arrested, but authorities did not release their names in accordance with state law. One was charged with simple battery and criminal trespass, and the other with possession and use of drug-related objects.
During the press conference, Brunswick Judiciary Circuit District Attorney Keith Higgins also refuted some rumors circulating on social media about the case, including that Lehrkamp was autistic or mentally challenged and that he was forced to take part in activities. He also refused the idea that the teen was tortured.
Regarding Lehrkamp’s medical care, Higgins clarified that he was not just dumped outside the emergency room, but that the three individuals who took him to the hospital went inside and got medical personnel to come and get Lehrkamp as well as leaving their correct names and phone numbers.
Lehrkamp was hospitalized in the ICU after a violent bullying incident that some described as torture. He was dropped off at a local hospital covered in urine and spray paint, with a blood alcohol level of .464. Georgia’s legal limit for BAC is .08.
Police began investigating the party after Lehrkamp was hospitalized and his story began circulating on social media, including allegations that Lehrkamp’s friends had forced him to consume alcohol and urinated and defecated on him before dropping him at the hospital.
Higgins said while there were aspects of the investigation they could not make public, he was free to clear up misinformation. Lehrkamp is not autistic or mentally challenged, as some social media posters have suggested. Higgins also clarified Lehrkamp went to the St. Simon house voluntarily on multiple occasions. One video where Lehrkamp is sprayed with a hose was voluntary, Higgins said, after he took part in an egg fight.
“He voluntarily drank alcohol until he blacked out, nobody forced him to drink or put a funnel down his throat and no one urinated on him, no one defecated on him, no one poured acid down his throat, no one beat him, no one tortured him,” Higgins said.
The photo that purported to show Lehrkamp with feces on his lap was actually a photo with a plastic dinosaur in his lap, Higgins clarified.
Higgins expressed frustration over the case taking up so much of their attention when other incidents also needed investigation, including the brutal rape of a 14-year-old girl. Higgins cited social media as one of the reasons the Lehrkamp case got so much attention, especially when false information circulated.
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