Teens arrested, police injured in SI brawl

December 7, 2011 2:36:57 PM PST
Teenagers are under arrest and police officers were injured after an out-of-control situation on Staten Island.

Firefighters turned their hoses on the teens to help diffuse what they call a riot.

"(They wanted to hurt you?) Yes. (Were they threatening you at school?) Yeah," said Anna Maria DeJesus, a high school sophomore.

In fact, the bullying was so severe, says the mother of 15-year-old Anna Maria DeJesus, administrators at the Port Richmond High School called her last Thursday and told her to take her daughter home.

Anna Maria hadn't returned to school since.

But at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, she says the alleged bullies came right to her front door.

"If it wasn't for the fire department we would not be here," said Maria Gomez, Anna Maria's mother.

The fire department says this was a split decision, given the chaos.

The use of what's called a stag, a water canon on top of the fire truck, to stop the crowd from going any further.

Engine Company 158 is only a few doors down from Anna Maria's house and neighbors were asking fire fighters for help, as cops were allegedly getting assaulted.

"If you could say anything to the fire department, up the block, what would you say at this point?" Eyewitness News asked.

"Thank you so much, you basically saved us," DeJesus said.

But talk to some of those who were sprayed, and they're not so sure.

"Because of all the pressure, and it was real hot water," said Deborah Reyes, the suspects' sister.

Reyes is not charged with anything, but her brother is the one accused of threatening Anna Maria's mom with a BB gun.

Her sister is accused of kicking one of the officers in the head.

Her family's attorney is still mostly troubled by the use of this water.

"Does a BB gun again, justify the use of a water canon on innocent kids?" said D. Andrew Marshall, defense attorney.

"Were they innocent?" Eyewitness News asked.

"Yes, I believe they were innocent, mere presence is not a crime," Marshall said.

Anna Maria's mother calls all of this bullying at its worst.

"Something had to be done, in the school," Gomez said.