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October 26, 2016

Monroe County District Attorneys Office


Honorable Sandra Doorley
47 S. Fitzhugh St.
Rochester, NY 14614

Dear District Attorney Doorley,


I received the following information today from a constituent regarding an attack on her son Chase
Coleman, a nonverbal African American autistic member of the Syracuse City School District/ Corcoran
HS track team which occurred during a track meet in Rochester, NY on October 14. 2016.

On October 14th, 2016 in Rochester, NY, during a Cross Country Race that was sponsored by Omega Psi
Phi Fraternity, The Purple and Gold Invitational, Chase T. Coleman, an autistic, nonverbal SCSD
Corcoran HS 9th grade student who is a member of the cross country team, while in full uniform wearing
attached runners bib with number, was attacked by Martin MacDonald (NY Plates HHJ-6518) while
participating in the track meet, per two witnesses at the scene. Martin Mac Donald was driving a 4 door
gold/tan Subaru with aforementioned plates, with no provocation, drove up behind Chase, got out of his
car, grabbed Chase and pushed him to the ground, hovered over him and attempted to hit him when a
female runner and male bicyclist intervened. At that time, Mr. MacDonald ran back to his vehicle and
pulled away. Witnesses took down the plate number and description. A crime report was filed #16269028. Mr. MacDonald was quickly located and admitted to attacking the teen. His reasoning as
reported to Mr. And Mrs. Coleman, the parents of the victim, by police officer Sutton (badge #2492), was
that two weeks prior, Mr. MacDonalds car had been broken into by a young black male and he thought
Chase was going to steal his car.
The parents were asked by Officer Sutton if they would like to press charges for harassment, which they
did. On October 24th, the parents received the attached letter from Judge Caroline E. Morrison of
Rochester City Court stating that the warrant for charges of Harassment in the 2nd degree Physical
Contact was denied.

Chase has turned in his uniform and did not participate in the last track meet and according to Mrs.
Coleman; he does not intend to participate in future meets because he is traumatized. For an Autistic,
nonverbal student to have joined a team, to be competing in organized athletic programs and acting as a
part of a team and community is the kind of success we strive for. For all of this progress to be lost due to
a racist, aggressive, unprovoked attack on a disabled African American minor with absolutely no
consequences is, for lack of a stronger word, unacceptable. We cannot continue to tolerate these types of
behaviors and validate them in our court system. I would like to request an explanation as to why the City
of Rochester court system feels that this crime should go unpunished. Chase Coleman deserves an answer,
the parents, teacher, coaches and teammates who have worked so hard to build Chase up to a place where
he feels safe and accepted and contributes as a part of a team, deserve an explanation and The Syracuse
City School district deserves an explanation and an assurance that all of our City School District students
will be protected under the law while visiting Rochester, NY.

Concerned members of the Syracuse Common Council and Syracuse City School District Commissioners
of Education anxiously await your response.

Respectfully Yours,

Susan Boyle
Syracuse Common Council
District 3
Education Committee Chair
CC: Office of the Attorney General
The Office of the Mayor of Rochester NY
Clarise, Stan and Chase Coleman