On Sunday, the Tate Modern in London went into lockdown after a six-year-old boy was thrown from the 10th-floor viewing deck of the museum according to Metropolitan Police. The child fell five stories before landing on the roof of the fifth floor some 100 feet below the observation deck. The boy miraculously survived although he suffered severe injuries and was airlifted from the museum. Shortly after, a 17-year-old male was arrested onsite under suspicion that he was the one who threw the child over the railing. On Tuesday, that very 17-year-old was brought before a magistrate and charged for the attempted murder of the boy.
In Tuesday’s five-minute hearing, prosecutors of the teenager, whose identity cannot be disclosed under UK law as he is not yet 18, gave a brief statement, the identification of the accused was confirmed, and the case was referred to a higher court. Later today, the 17-year-old is scheduled to appear in court again.
As of Tuesday’s hearing, Metropolitan Police reported that the child was far more stable than he was on Sunday, but remains in critical condition. He has reportedly sustained ‘very serious injuries’ that include fractures to his spine, legs, and arms, as well as a ‘deep bleed to the brain.’
Police have reported that ‘there is nothing to suggest that [the accused] is known to the victim.’ The child, who is French citizen according to a spokesperson for the French Embassy, was on the popular 10th-floor viewing platform with his parents. The accused picked up the child ‘in one swift movement,’ according to prosecutor Sian Morgan, and threw him over the railing. The child’s mother reportedly ran into the 10th-floor café screaming that her son was thrown over while the accused stood calmly on the platform. A witness told The New York Times in a phone interview that when asked why he threw the child over, he said that social services were to blame. London Ambulance Services were called to the museum around 2:45 p.m., treated the child, and then airlifted him to the hospital for further treatment. The museum was promptly put into lockdown.
The 10th-floor viewing deck is one of Tate Modern’s beloved attractions and architectural features. Once the Bankside Power Station, the building, designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott offers impressive panoramic views of the city. The observation deck has also been a point of contention between the museum and nearby luxury flat owners who filed a suit in 2017 against the museum. They stated that the viewing deck allowed museum visitors to uninhibitedly look into their homes but earlier this year, Britain’s High Court ruled in favour of the museum. Since the tragic incident on Sunday, Tate has kept the viewing deck closed to visitors.