COPY-Survivor of hate-crime attack dies in jump from cruise ship - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

COPY-Survivor of hate-crime attack dies in jump from cruise ship

Associated Press - July 3, 2007 5:03 AM ET

HOUSTON (AP) - A Texas teenager who testified before Congress about hate crimes after surviving a brutal beating may have been overwhelmed by anguish when he jumped to his death from a cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico.

David Ritcheson was pronounced dead after being pulled back on board the ship Sunday. A man identifying himself as the 18-year-old's father confirmed the death to The Associated Press.

The small, quiet youth once lamented being known as "that kid" who survived the party attack, saying it was "really hard to hold your head up."

Ritcheson, a Mexican-American, was beaten unconscious and sodomized by two men shouting "White Power!" during a drug-fueled party last year. He was hospitalized and underwent more than 20 operations.

The prosecutor in the case says the teen rarely discussed his feelings and declined to get counseling.

Ritcheson's attackers are in prison.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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