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Md. HS student choked, flung, punched, stomped during lunch break; classmate charged

Photo of Albert Einstein High School (ABC7 file photo)

An Albert Einstein High School student was choked, flung, punched and stomped on by three classmates, resulting in hospitalization for a broken eye socket, Montgomery County Police said.

According to a criminal charging affidavit obtained by ABC7, the teenage victim was walking down a hallway during lunch break on Jan. 19, when fellow student Keampa Thompson-Smith, 17, of Rockville, Maryland, hugged him. Thompson-Smith brought the victim to two other male classmates. Together, the group of three began to remove the victim's jacket and backpack.

Thompson-Smith, who is 5-foot-8 and 135 pounds, allegedly dropped into the "fighter's stance" while the second student placed the victim in a chokehold. The two hoisted the victim off the ground, later flinging his body onto the hard floor. The second student proceeded to stand over the victim and choke him. The third student reportedly watched the violence unfold without notifying school staff.

At one point, the victim got back on his feet in an attempt to defend himself when the second student tossed him into a row of lockers before punching and stomping on his face, causing a "serious physical injury." All three attackers ran away.

A classmate helped lift the "dazed" and "unconscious" victim, carrying him to the health room so a nurse could provide medical care. The victim's injuries included a fractured orbital bone, a body part which holds and protects the eyeball.

An ambulance took the victim to Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, for treatment. Investigators visited the teen at his home two days later. He told police he remembered being approached by Thompson-Smith, but everything else was a complete blur. A witness told authorities he heard the victim say "no" to the three suspects moments before the assault started.

The Maryland Office of the Public Defender is representing Thompson-Smith. The government-funded agency has a longstanding policy of not speaking with the press about active criminal matters.

Thompson-Smith is scheduled for a two-day jury trial in Montgomery County Circuit Court. The Baltimore native is currently out on bond, facing more than 35 years in prison.

Montgomery County Public Schools said Thompson-Smith continues to be enrolled with the public school system, but per a court order, is no longer allowed to attend Einstein High School.

"MCPS is still responsible [for] educating students when charges are pending and they are not incarcerated," spokesman Derek Turner wrote in an email.

The Montgomery County Police Department does not release mugshots of anyone under the age of 18, even if they are charged as an adult. Although named in court filings, suspects two and three have not been charged, at least not in the adult system.

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