FORT WORTH -- A 14-year-old boy is in juvenile custody, accused of last month's fatal assault of a stranger who police say was punched without provocation while walking down a street. The man died after striking his head on the ground.
The victim's mother, Anita Lauterbach, said detectives have told her that the teen suspect has shown no remorse.
"He thought it was funny," Lauterbach said she was told by investigators. "They were just running around looking for trouble."
The teen was a passenger in a blue Cadillac that pulled up beside 40-year-old Mark Gregory, who was walking in the 1700 block of Vaughn Boulevard about 10:44 p.m. Oct. 6.
The teen then got out of the car, yelled at Gregory and hit him, police say.
Gregory was taken by ambulance to John Peter Smith Hospital and died two days later. The Tarrant County medical examiner's office ruled his death a homicide caused by a closed head injury due to the assault.
"At this time there is no indication that the suspect knew the victim," said homicide Sgt. Cheryl Johnson. "It appears that this was a random act of violence. Nothing was taken from the victim."
The teen, who is not being identified because he is a juvenile, was detained Thursday on a warrant alleging delinquent conduct/murder. During a hearing Monday, the teen was ordered to remain in detention, said Melody McDonald, a spokeswoman for the Tarrant County district attorney's office. No one else is expected to be detained, authorities said.
Johnson said the teen was identified as a suspect after members of the central zero-tolerance unit located a vehicle that matched the description of the Cadillac.
Lauterbach said the attack occurred when her son was apparently walking to a neighborhood store where he often went to buy Dr Pepper.
She said someone at the store apparently saw the teen, who is over 6 feet tall, assault her son, who was just 5 foot 1.
"It's so senseless," Lauterbach said. "I'm still trying to understand it."
Lauterbach said her son had just moved into the neighborhood, south of Texas Wesleyan University.
"I honestly thought he would be safer there," she said. "He didn't make a whole lot of money, but I thought he'd be safer living there by the school than where he had been living in another part of town. I was wrong."
She described Gregory as a wonderful son who never hurt anybody.
"People loved him," she said. "He was a small person, but he had a big heart. It seemed like he made friends no matter where he went."
Deanna Boyd, 817-390-7655