Family sues Long Island school district over assault on student by classmates

CENTER MORICHES, Long Island (WABC) -- A teenager from Suffolk County claims he was the victim of a vicious attack by fellow classmates, and that the school did nothing about it.

The victim suffered a broken nose and had his teeth knocked out, and now his family is suing the school district.

"Are you certain the school knew these boys were violent?", we asked 18-year-old Ethan Treto.
"Yeah", he said.
"And they did nothing?"
"They did nothing," he said.

Ethan is a senior at Center Moriches High School who describes what some have termed a "jock culture" there, in which certain classmates - known to be violent off campus - have been protected at school just because they're athletes.

"They're jocks, they run it," he said.

But Ethan's family is now suing the Center Moriches District after a cringeworthy fight, recorded in videos provided by their lawyer.

Students actually cheer as Ethan is held down and beaten, but it gets worse.

"After all that happened, they dragged me back across the street, back to the party as like a trophy and they were picking up my teeth," said Ethan. "There's videos of them holding my teeth."

Ethan says it all started on campus after he turned some of them in for vaping in a school bathroom.

"There had to be at least 10 of them standing there vaping, and I went to go use the urinal and they wouldn't let me use it, so I walked back..I walked out," he said. "They started following me out, and they started making threats."

Threats they followed through on. Ethan and his family say at least one alleged aggressor had violent tendencies that were ignored by the district for years.

"And that's the reason we're going after the school," said Treto family attorney Kenneth Mollins. "This school should've taken appropriate action."

"I don't think these kids should be allowed back on campus, I don't think they should be able to go to prom, and I don't think they should be able to walk graduation," said Ethan's mother Debra Treto.

"And yet, my son has to look like this, and deal with this emotional damage that might scar him for the rest of his life," said Ethan's father Manuel Treto.

----------
* More Long Island news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
* Follow us on YouTube
Copyright © 2019 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.