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Crime News

‘Amazing’ Maryland Dad Beaten To Death By Mob Over Teen Son’s Schoolyard Dispute, Family Says

The deadly attack was triggered by a cash dispute of $30, Christopher Wright’s family said.

By Dorian Geiger
Killer Motive: What Drives People To Kill?

The family of a Maryland father of three are grieving his sudden death after he was fatally attacked on his doorstep, allegedly by a group of teenagers and adults, late last week following a bullying incident involving his son.

Christopher Wright, 43, was killed on May 19 after sustaining traumatic brain injuries following a horrifying attack that stemmed from a schoolyard dispute involving his 14-year-old son, Trenton, his family said. 

Wright’s family say he was killed attempting to protect his children from the mob, who had confronted the Maryland family at their home following a dispute his son had become entangled in over $30.

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Graphic video surveillance footage of the deadly attack was later published by the Daily Mail. The recording shows the group of assailants outside Wright’s home. They later unleashed a flurry of blows before Wright can be seen being body slammed on the ground. His attackers then continued to strike an unresponsive Wright before running away. 

A photo of Christopher Wright

Wright’s family also believe he was struck with an unknown object during the fatal encounter. He died the following day in hospital.

"Just looking at the damage that was done to him, that was not, it wasn't, that wasn't just punching that did that,” Wright’s fiancée, Tracy Karopchinsky, 44, told Baltimore television station WBAL-TV. There's no way that that was just punching that did that. I mean, the damage was done before the ambulance ever took him away. He had had a seizure, it was done. There was nothing that the hospital could do."

Investigators say at least three to four people participated in the vicious attack. It’s unknown if police have made any arrests in the case. School officials have also since confirmed the original fight between the teens, which is believed to have sparked the incident. 

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"Anybody who assisted or abetted or was an accomplice of the main suspect or the primary suspect in this incident would be culpable," Baltimore police spokesperson Marc Limansky said. 

Wright’s fiancée explained that their son Trenton was the target of the mob. She said that days earlier, her son was  bullied by his peers after he punched another classmate over $30 that was thought to be stolen.

“Trenton was walking near the school and a kid — not related to the [fatal] fight — came up to him and said ‘I stole $30 from your girlfriend’ or something along those lines,” Karopchinsky also told The New York Post. “He had the money in his hands. Trenton went to get the money and in reaction, hit the kid. He hit him once and that was the end of it.”

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Trenton was subsequently suspended over the confrontation. When he returned to Brooklyn Park Middle School last Friday — on the day of his father’s death —  he was harassed by a group of friends, per his family’s account. At one point during the day, they said, he’d been cornered in a school bathroom by one child who wanted to fight him. He was later attacked while walking home from school, his mother said.

“It became a complete brawl,” Karopchinsky described. “Trenton was getting hit from every which way so he ended up crawling out to try and leave. Literally he was on the ground and crawled away. He couldn’t even tell who he was getting hit by.”

After Trenton got home, three teen boys and two adults confronted the family on the doorstep of their home. 

“One of the adults then said ‘If your son’s not going to fight, you’re going to fight,'” Karopchinsky told the Post.

The mob, she said, proceeded to attack her husband, who confronted the group outside the property.

“My son said his dad was thrown to the ground at one point,” Karopchinsky said. "I know there was punching. My son said he was being slammed against the ground.”

 Wright’s family have described him as an “amazing father” and “life partner.”

"They didn't just ruin our lives,” Karopchinsky told WBAL-TV. “Their lives are going to be changed forever. Their parents' lives are going to be changed forever, and nobody thinks about that just from a fight.”

Wright’s loved ones are currently raising money to cover expenses related to the slain father’s funeral. They're preparing for a candlelight vigil at a park by their home on Friday.