A 49-year-old man in Georgia is facing multiple felonies and several decades behind bars after he allegedly became violent with a group of teenagers who had knocked on his door and ran away — a prank typically called “ding dong ditch” or “ring and run” — then tried to run them down with his car before exiting the vehicle and choking one of the teens.
William Raymond Cole was taken into custody on Monday morning and charged with two counts of felony aggravated assault and one count of cruelty to children in the first degree, authorities announced. The charges each carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
According to a press release from the Tybee Island Police Department, TIPD officers on Sunday morning responded to an emergency call regarding a possible aggravated assault on children by an adult male — later identified as Cole. Tybee Island is located about 15 miles east of Savannah.
Police said that the incident began when a group of teenagers allegedly knocked on Cole’s front door “as part of a game commonly referred to as ‘Ding Dong Ditch.””
After spotting the teens who allegedly knocked on his door, Cole chased them from his residence and then got in his vehicle and began to pursue them through the streets.
“After catching up to the kids, Cole allegedly attempted to strike them with the vehicle,” Police wrote in the release. “When this was unsuccessful, Cole once again began to chase the group on foot. After catching one of the teens, Cole is further alleged to have choked them until a witness intervened. At that time, Cole fled the scene.”
After the alleged attack, police obtained a warrant for Cole’s arrest. Despite knowing he was wanted by authorities, Cole actively attempted to evade arrest, the release stated. He was said to be considered “armed and dangerous” before he was located and taken into custody.
In a similarly disturbing story, a trooper with the Delaware State Police was suspended last week for allegedly hospitalizing a 15-year-old boy after the teen and several of his friends also targeted his home while playing “ding dong ditch,” the agency announced.
In a press release, DSP said the agency was “aware” of a situation in which a teenager “was assaulted and injured while being detained by a trooper” on Aug. 22. The incident was recorded on the trooper’s body camera and is being investigated by the Office of Professional Responsibility and the Department of Justice. In the meantime, the trooper accused of the assault has been suspended but is not currently facing criminal charges.
According to a report from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, ABC affiliate WPVI-TV, the victim, identified only as “Jayden,” suffered a broken orbital bone that will require surgery, a concussion, a black eye, and multiple cuts and bruises to his face and body.
Jayden’s family said the teen and his friends were playing the typically innocent game and had no idea they had rang the doorbell of a DSP trooper.
“He was roughed up on the ground while handcuffed, and he was given a blind haymaker punch by a state trooper while he was shining a flashlight into his eyes,” the family’s attorney, Samuel Davis, told the outlet. “There’s bruises all over his body, on his shoulder. There’s bruises on his chest, there’s bruises on the back of his neck.”
The names of the DSP trooper and his partner — who was allegedly present during the incident — have not been released by authorities.
Earlier this year, a man in California was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted on three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of second-degree murder for chasing down a car carrying at least six teenagers who had allegedly played “ding dong ditch” on his home.
Anurag Chandra, 45, who did not know the boys, chased the teens in his car, an Infiniti, eventually reaching 99 mph before rear-ending them. The Prius carrying the teens lost control, slamming the car into a tree.
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William Raymond Cole charged in ‘ding dong ditch’ attack
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