Police: New Jersey attack on teen was bullying

Joe Moszczynski
An assault by three 16-year-old Sparta boys on a younger boy was the result of the older boys bullying the young victim, police said yesterday.

“The three, for whatever reason, were bullying the younger kid. It was classified as a bullying incident. It wasn’t a gang incident,” said Sgt. Neil Spidaletto.

The three youths “kicked and stomped” the 14-year-old boy, who suffered multiple fractures to his face, as he walked home from the township’s athletic fields at Ungerman Field, about 8 p.m. Sept. 17, police said. The victim, a freshman at Sparta High School, was treated at Newton Memorial Hospital and released.

The attack occurred as a result of a “verbal exchange” the youths had had earlier in the day in the high school cafeteria, said Sparta school superintendent Thomas Morton.

Morton said the students were disciplined for the incident in the cafeteria, but school officials did not discipline them for an incident that is alleged to have occurred after-school hours and off school grounds.

“We punished them as harshly as we could for the in-school incident. Outside of school, it’s up to the police, parents and the community to deal with. It’s not our jurisdiction at nighttime,” said Morton, who would not reveal the punishment the students received for the cafeteria incident. Full story.

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