Authorities in Massachusetts on Wednesday were searching for two men who allegedly yelled racial slurs and threw a hatchet at a black teen.
The eigth-grade boy, 14, was stepping off his school bus in North Brookfield on Tuesday when two masked men in a passing Jeep yelled at him and threw the hatchet at his head, WHDH-TV reported.
“It went right past his head. He ducked back,” his mother told the station. “It landed right in front of him.”
Police responded to the scene, but were unable to track the vehicle or locate the hatchet, WCBV-TV reported. Police said it’s possible the men returned to the scene for the weapon.
North Brookfield Police Chief Mark Smith says he views the altercation as a hate crime.
"I am very disturbed," his mother told WCBV-TV. "I want them to be safe, feel safe and they don't right now. (They're) scared to take the bus."
While the boy was not physically hurt, the school district alerted families through a Facebook post to be careful, the station reported.
Police are currently increasing patrols at area bus stops as a result.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.