CLAREMONT, NH (NBC BOSTON) — The parents of a teenager accused of being involved in the near hanging of an 8-year-old biracial boy in New Hampshire insist what happened was a tragic accident and was not motivated by racism.

In an interview with Newsweek published Saturday, the teen's parents say he tried to startle the 8-year-old-boy into jumping off a picnic table on Aug. 28, not realizing the boy had a rope from a tire swing around his neck.

The 8-year-old's grandmother says the teenager was part of a group that taunted him with racial slurs and pushed him off the table. The boy was treated at a hospital for neck injuries and was released.

The case is being reviewed by the state attorney general's office to determine whether it constituted a hate crime or a civil rights violation.