, Salem, MA

Local News

July 9, 2014

Philip Chism indicted in attack on DYS worker

All proceedings in case to be open to public

DANVERS — Philip Chism, the Danvers teen awaiting trial in the rape and murder of his Danvers High School math teacher, was indicted Wednesday on attempted murder and other charges following a June 2 attack on a Department of Youth Services worker in Boston.

Chism, 15, will now face charges of attempted murder by strangulation, assault with intent to murder, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, all as a youthful offender, in Suffolk County Juvenile Court, said Jake Wark, a spokesman for Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley.

The “youthful offender” designation exposes Chism to potential adult penalties, which range up to 20 years for attempted murder. It also opens all proceedings in the case to the public. An arraignment date has not been scheduled, Wark said.

Prosecutors say that on June 2 Chism assaulted a 29-year-old female staff member at the Metro Youth Services facility in Dorchester, where he was being held awaiting trial in the Danvers murder case. Chism, who is being held without bail, was sent to the facility because he is under 18.

He is charged with last October’s murder, rape and robbery of Colleen Ritzer, 24, of Andover.

Prosecutors in Essex County say Chism followed Ritzer into a girls’ bathroom after school on the afternoon of Oct. 22, then attacked and sexually assaulted her. Then, he allegedly wheeled her out of the school in a recycling bin and sexually assaulted her again.

In what prosecutors and a judge say was a similar incident at the DYS facility last month, Chism allegedly eluded employees, who were supposed to be watching him, by crouching down and out of sight, creeping along a wall, following the woman into a bathroom and attacking her. He was said to be holding a pencil and trying to stab her with it.

The woman’s screaming brought other employees to the scene, and the attack was stopped.

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