GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — After a teen’s twin brother was charged as an adult for allegedly assaulting a Gastonia police officer, a judge considered whether the second twin’s charges should also be upgraded.
Ultimately, the judge decided Monday to keep the second twin’s case in juvenile court, but the ordeal left his parents with mixed emotions.
Their family says the boys, who were 15 years old then, were riding their bikes home from a friend’s house one day in 2021. That led to a confrontation with police, and both teens being accused of assaulting a Gastonia police officer.
“It makes me real mad,” said their father, Marcell Fuller.
The twins are now 17 -- still minors -- and accused of major crimes. Their parents said the interaction never should have escalated in the first place.
On that day in 2021, police had blocked the street for a fireworks display after the Gastonia Honey Hunters baseball game. The parents said both twins have learning disorders and they were going home using directions from their parents.
“One of my twins was on the phone with me,” said Tangyika Brawley, their mom.
Brawley heard the commotion between her sons and police.
“All of a sudden, you hear the phone go dead,” she described.
The parents said they saw body camera video. They said their sons were kicked, choked, and pepper-sprayed.
“The way they was handling my son -- it hurt me,” Fuller said.
Police charged one of the twins with attempted murder, saying he choked an officer. He is set to be tried as an adult.
On Monday, the other twin learned his case, which includes several charges related to assault on police, will remain in juvenile court. Their family is relieved, but still frustrated that charges weren’t dropped.
“I don’t think they should be charged with nothing like that,” Fuller said. “Their intention wasn’t to hurt nobody. Their intention was to go home.”
The twin with a case still in juvenile court is due back in front of a judge in November. The twin facing an attempted murder charge in adult court is waiting for his next court date.
Their parents say they want the body camera video released to the public.
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