FAIR LAWN, New Jersey -- Several students are facing charges after a 14-year-old with developmental disabilities had his pants and underwear pulled down while others recorded him and posted the video to social media.
Police said they were notified by the Fair Lawn Board of Education of the video recorded at Berdan Grove Park.
The video shows the 14-year-old victim crying and clearly distressed by the attack. Even though it happened in broad daylight, no one stepped in to help.
Officials say a 10-year-old male pulled down the victim's pants and underwear while a 13-year-old male held him in place.
As this happened, 19-year-old Alis Fidrya and a 16-year-old female recorded the incident and posted it to SnapChat and TikTok.
"People should know better, we're taught in the high school to respect everyone, to treat people with kindness, and so to see this happen is truly troubling," Fair Lawn resident Bernard Moerdler said.
Fidrya will be charged with two counts of invasion of privacy, cyber harassment and harassment.
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The 16-year-old will be charged as a juvenile with invasion of privacy, cyber harassment and harassment.
The 13-year-old and 10-year-old involved in the incident will both be charges as juveniles with harassment.
Local leaders said the crime is reprehensible.
"What's really disturbing is at that park.. that's an Access For All playground that this community invested a lot of money in to be especially welcoming to those with special needs," Mayor Kurt Peluso said.
The deputy mayor of Fair Lawn has a son who is on the autism spectrum and is deeply troubled by the incident.
The school district posted a letter to parents on Facebook Thursday, saying they were upset and angered by what happened.
"This type of behavior is absolutely unacceptable and I implore you to speak to your children about the dangers of such actions and social media," part of the letter said. "We have zero tolerance for such behavior; however, at this point we must first allow law enforcement to conduct their investigation."
The superintendent went on to encourage parents to discuss with their children the possible dangers of these social media platforms.
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