High school hazing suspects appear in court

March 8, 2013 1:39:44 PM PST
The 3 suspects accused in the Bronx Science High School hazing incident appeared in court Friday.

Attorneys for Thomas Brady, Boubacar Diallo and Piers Berkman asked the media to keep its distance from their teenage clients.

"Ultimately, it's going to be difficult for these minors to restore their reputation when this is completed," said Angel Cruz.

No comment from the teens as they casually visited with friendly supporters outside a Bronx courtroom. The boys face misdemeanor charges, but as adults, for the alleged hazing of a freshman on the Bronx Science high school track team.

"I know the three accused people personally and i think they're great kids, and I think it's unfair how they are being villainized by all this media coverage," said John Wertimer.

Eyewitness News spoke to students who say they are track team members at Bronx Science. The team's activities have been suspended, along with the suspects, the school's Athletic Director and two unidentified track team coaches.

"I've been running track for 3 years here, and what's being described as hazing is really just locker room behavior, even etiquette; the way kids treating one another on track. No one is specifically being targeted at all," said one student.

A reported memo to staff by the Athletic Director, written in March of last year, acknowledged a case of inappropriate locker room touching from 2010.

The A.D., Marion Dietrich, had called for locker room monitoring by staff members, which reportedly did not continue into this school year.

The judge extended a restraining order on the three suspects, warning them against contacting, or even texting the student who filed the complaint. Procedures at Bronx Science High School that led to the case are being investigated by the Department of Education.