Police investigating violent bullying incident in Georgia

(NewsNation) — Police in Glynn County, Georgia, are still investigating an incident that some community members are calling torture after 19-year-old Trent Lehrkamp was dropped off at a local hospital covered in spray paint and urine with a .464 blood alcohol level.

The incident, which was allegedly documented in social media posts, occurred last Tuesday at a party on St. Simons Island, a community of 15,000 off the Georgia coast.

A disturbing photo posted in a community Facebook group appears to show Lehrkamp unconscious, bound to a chair, covered in spray paint and other substances. Four boys are seen posing beside him.

Now, Lehrkamp’s family is calling for justice as he continues in his recovery.

What happened?

Last Tuesday, Lehrkamp went to hang out with a group of people he considered to be friends, according to a Glynn County Police incident report obtained by NewsNation affiliate WSAV.

Just hours later, the 19-year-old was dropped off highly intoxicated and barely breathing at a hospital in nearby Brunswick. Three minors who drove Lehrkamp wrote their names on a piece of paper and left in a white Jeep, according to the report.

When Lehrkamp arrived at the ER, he was unresponsive and breathing just six times per minute. The report said he was covered in spray paint and his clothes were soaked with urine. The 19-year-old’s blood alcohol level was .464, more than five times above what law enforcement considers impaired.

Authorities are still investigating what happened at the party, but a social media post shows four boys standing around a man who appears to be unconscious, covered in spray paint and other items.

How is he doing?

In an exclusive message to NewsNation affiliate WSAV, Lehrkamp said he’s “alive and doing well.”

“Just know it’s going to be a long time for me to get over this, through the trauma, but one day hopefully within the next few months or so, I might be back,” Lehrkamp told WSAV.

He’s now supporting the police investigation into waht WSAV reported as three separate attacks he experiened. Lehrkamp promised “justice will be served.”

Has it happened before?

Mark Lehrkamp, Trent’s father, told authorities about two other attacks on his son that appear to be connected to the same group of teens, whose names are redacted in the incident report.

Just one week earlier, Trent had come home “covered in WD-40, vomit, paint, glue, egg yolk and spray paint,” his dad told police.

The week before that, Mark Lehrkamp took his son to the emergency room to get stitches after hanging out with the same group.

Mark said Trent continued to hang out with the group because “he has no other friends.”

Trent’s father turned video and photos of the previous incidents over to the police. Investigators also received a photo of a Snapchat message and a voice message explaining what happened to Trent.

Who is Trent Lehrkamp?

A neighbor, who said she has lived next door to Trent for more than eight years, described him as a “sweet kid” and a “big teddy bear.”

“(He’s) soft spoken, mild mannered, always polite, respectful and would always acknowledge seeing me or my husband out in our yard,” said Anne Dekle.

As of last Sunday, Lehrkamp was “stable but still in the ICU recovering and fighting through some lung infection from the aspiration,” according to an update on a GoFundMe page.

That same day, Trent was interviewed by authorities about what happened on the evening in question.

“Trent is transitioning — he’s beginning the next step of his care and we ask that you continue to pray for Trent,” the family said in a statement shared Wednesday.

Has anyone been arrested?

It’s been over a week since Lehrkamp was dropped off at the hospital, but authorities have yet to arrest anyone involved.

At a press conference Wednesday, Glynn County Police Interim Chief O’Neal Jackson said authorities have identified 11 juveniles in one of the incidents involving Lehrkamp and nine in another incident. Jackson said the department is still reviewing evidence.

“We can’t rush to judgment. We have to take our time on this,” Jackson said.

In a statement posted to social media Monday, Glynn County Schools acknowledged an off-campus incident that involved several “former and current students.” The school district said it was cooperating with the investigation.

The FBI is also helping with the investigation, according to reports.

How has the community responded?

On Monday, hundreds of people gathered outside the Brunswick hospital where Lehrkamp is recovering to demand justice.

“It’s been over a week and no arrests have been made,” community activist Theawanza Brooks told WSAV. “I’m glad the community has come together once again to stand up for what is right.”

A protest is scheduled for Saturday on St. Simons Island near the community’s pier.

Dekle said it’s a wealthy area where folks know each other and he doesn’t know why there hasn’t been an arrest.

“It just doesn’t seem right,” she said.


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