Zimmerman teen charged in video-recorded assault

by Olivia Alveshere
ECM Publishers
Two teenagers were charged in Anoka County District Court last week in the assault of a 15-year-old St. Francis girl.
A video of the assault was taken in a wooded area in St. Francis near the Ponds Golf Course and shows Sydney DeTenancour being beaten and having a large section of her hair cut off. The video has been viewed more than 500,000 times online.
Sydney was assaulted between midnight and 1 a.m. June 17, and she contacted police around 1:15 a.m., according to the criminal complaint.
According to the complaint, Sydney told police she and friends decided to go for a walk through The Ponds Golf Course around 12:30 p.m. Cassandra Teal Borden, 18, of Cedar, and Alexis Sue Nelson, 19, of Zimmerman, were with the group, and when they got to a wooded area, Borden said she brought Sydney out there because she had “snitched” on her boyfriend, who was cited for driving drunk, and she proceeded to hit and kick Sydney nearly 50 times, the complaint states.
Additionally, Borden allegedly ripped off Sydney’s purse during the assault, and her phone, valued at $500, was broken, according to the complaint.
Sydney told police that another juvenile attacked her and Nelson cut off her hair, the complaint states.
Sydney said she thought the assault lasted between five and 10 minutes, the complaint states.
In a post-Miranda statement taken June 18, Borden said she hit, kicked and punched Sydney at least 20 times the day before, according to the complaint.
In a statement made to police June 24, Nelson said she cut a section of Sydney’s hair off, the complaint alleges.
Borden and Nelson were both charged with misdemeanor fifth-degree assault July 26 and will be arraigned in court Aug. 25. Borden was also charged with fourth-degree property damage, a misdemeanor.
Both women remain free ahead of their court appearances Aug. 25.
Police reviewed the video, which showed Borden hitting and kicking Sydney 49 times and throwing her purse, as well as Nelson cutting Sydney’s hair, the complaint states.
Sydney’s parents, Robert and Jennifer DeTenacour, each shared the video of their daughter being attacked on Facebook.
“It is a disgusting assault on a small innocent girl,” Jennifer DeTenacour wrote.
A number of anti-bullying efforts have sprung up in St. Francis as bracelets, patches and shirts have been made in Sydney’s honor.
A group of local bikers have banded together to form Syd’s Angels – Bikers Against Bullies. The group’s first annual ride will be held Aug. 27, according to the Syd’s Angels website. The bikers’ mission is to raise awareness about bullying and stand up for change.
Riders organized a well-attended ride June 22 to show support for Sydney and speak out against bullying.