Tate Modern. Photo: Jim Stephenson.

Teenager Charged with Attempted Murder for Throwing Boy from Tate Modern Balcony

A teenager who was arrested for tossing a six-year-old boy off of Tate Modern’s popular viewing platform over the weekend was charged with attempted murder at Bromley Youth Court in London on Tuesday. According to the New York Times, the prosecutors gave a short statement before a magistrate referred the case to a higher court, where the minor is expected to appear on Thursday.

The seventeen-year-old accused was detained on Sunday, August 4, after witnesses saw him throw a younger boy, a French national who was visiting the museum with his family, from the tenth-story balcony. The boy fell approximately one hundred feet before he landed on a fifth-floor rooftop. He was treated at the scene and then airlifted to a nearby hospital. The teenager, who made no attempt to leave the viewing platform, was surrounded by bystanders before he was taken into custody. The Metropolitan Police said that there is no known connection between the teenager and the boy.

One of the case’s prosecutors, Sian Morgan, informed the court that the boy’s injuries included fractures to his spine, legs, and arms. He also suffered a “deep bleed to the brain” and remains in stable but critical condition. While a motive for the shocking incident has yet to be revealed, witnesses claim that the teenager had said social services were to blame for his actions. Scotland Yard told The Telegraph that he was seen acting suspiciously in the museum in the hours leading up to his alleged attack on the boy. Investigators are appealing to the public for help and are asking for any witnesses who have not already spoken to the authorities to come forward.

During the episode, Tate Modern, which was named the UK’s most popular tourist attraction in 2018, was on lockdown for around ninety minutes. While the museum is currently open to the public, it is unclear when the viewing platform, which provides visitors with unparalleled views of London, will be reopened.