Teen accused of raping, murdering teacher hospitalized after attack on DYS staff

Suspect scheduled to appear in court in August

June 04--Philip Chism, the troubled teen charged with raping and butchering his teacher in a student bathroom at Danvers High last fall, remained hospitalized last night while authorities investigate an alleged attack on a female Department of Youth Services staffer, a spokesman for Essex Sheriff Frank G. Cousins told the Herald.

"We have a security detail assigned to him at Boston Medical Center," Deputy Superintendent Maurice E. Pratt said.

Pratt declined to say why Chism, 15, of Danvers, was at BMC. Chism's attorney, Denise Regan, did not respond to a request for comment.

An attack on the DYS staffer is alleged to have occurred yesterday at the department's Dorchester facility. Jake Wark, spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley, said the employee involved "declined medical attention at the scene."

Wark, who did not identify Chism by name, said state police assigned to Conley's office "are continuing a very active investigation of the incident and no charges have been brought as of this time."

DYS spokesman Alec Loftus said in a statement, "The Department of Youth Services is working closely with law enforcement to investigate an assault that took place on a member of the staff at our Dorchester facility. The safety and well-being of our staff is of primary concern and a full review of this incident will be conducted to identify any necessary security enhancements at the facility."

High school teacher Colleen Ritzer, 24, was robbed, raped, stabbed to death and dumped in the woods on Oct. 23. Prosecutors have said Chism, who was a recent transfer student from Tennessee, put her body in a recycling bin and wheeled her into nearby woods past security cameras and a student parking lot.

He is next due to appear in Salem Superior Court Aug. 12 on a motion to dismiss charges of murder and aggravated rape, for which he is being tried as an adult.

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