Teen who brutally raped, killed teacher appeared ‘psychotic’
A Massachusetts teenager accused of killing his math teacher with a box cutter appeared to be ‘psychotic’ after he allegedly attacked a youth female clinician in Boston earlier this month.
According to the petition to have Philip Chism committed to Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital for 30 days of evaluation and treatment, the 15-year-old was ‘out of touch with reality’ and ‘yelling, screaming incoherently [and] foaming at the mouth while being restrained by staff.’
The attack happened June 2 at a Department of Youth Services detention center.
The details were released Tuesday by a Superior Court judge in response to a motion byThe Salem News.
Chism pleaded not guilty to robbing, raping and killing 24-year-old Danvers High School teacher Colleen Ritzer after following her into a restroom last October. He was 14 at the time.
Essex County prosecutors said 15-year-old Philip Chism slipped away from caregivers before the June 2 incident.
Prosecutor Kate MacDougall said Chism crept along a common hallway ‘crouched down out of view,’ followed the woman to a locker room and tried to choke her while holding a pencil. Other workers came to the woman’s aid when she screamed.
In the petition to have Chism committed, psychologist Kenneth Rogers wrote that the teenager strangled, punched and stabbed the female unit clinician.
‘Once pulled off her, he was out of touch with reality, screaming, yelling and moaning incoherently for about two hours even as he was taken away,’ wrote Rogers.
The document also stated that Chism’s mother informed officials that before the June 2 attack her son had no history of psychosis.
During a hearing held June 10, the prosecutor insisted that Chism not be left alone with female staff at the facility, describing the teen as ‘someone who appeared utterly calm and fine in the moments leading up to the event.’
Kate MacDougall also expressed concern that within the detention center, patients are free to move around, which could potentially put female staff and patients at risk
Lester Blumberg, the Department of Mental Health attorney who represented the hospital at the hearing, assured the prosecutor that while the patients’ rooms are not locked, Chism remains under guard at night and is rarely alone.
Authorities still don’t know what motivated the transfer student from Clarksville, Tenneessee to kill his teacher.