NORTH BROOKFIELD, Mass. (WHDH) — Police and parents in North Brookfield are outraged after a black teen was recently targeted in a frightening and disturbing hate crime.

The 14-year-old eighth-grader was stepping off a school bus Tuesday afternoon on South Main Street when he said two masked men in a passing Jeep flung a hatchet at his head and began yelling racial slurs.

The boy’s mother, Tanya Collins, spoke with 7News by phone and said the hatchet narrowly missed her son’s head.

“It went right past his head. He ducked back,” Collins said. “It landed right in front of him.”

Police are working to track down the men in connection with the shocking incident.

“I don’t know what to say. It’s unbelievable,” one parent told 7News. “I’m just shocked.”

Investigators believe the act was an isolated incident.

Police have not been able to locate the hatchet but they’re thankful the boy was not hurt.

“There’s no reason for those words to have been said,” North Brookfield Police Chief Mark Smith said. “I can’t look at it any other way than a hate crime.”

Police will increase patrols at area bus stops as result of the incident.

Anyone who may have witnessed the crime is asked to contact police.

(Copyright (c) 2023 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox