Alleged hazing incident on baseball field at New Jersey high school raising concern

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Thursday, April 11, 2019
Alleged hazing incident on NJ school baseball field under review
Anthony Johnson has more on the alleged hazing incident at a New Jersey high school.

WEST NEW YORK, New Jersey (WABC) -- A student was tied up and dragged on the baseball field and the stunt was posted on social media -- now police, the mayor and school officials can't agree on what should be done.

The Memorial High School Tigers were back in action on Thursday afternoon, but the players involved in the social media stunt are still off the team after a so-called prank raised a lot of eyebrows.

The incident allegedly took place on the field while the team was practicing. A member of the team was bound with duct-tape and then carried a few feet by other teammates.

Some have called it a prank but the police department says they conducted a full investigation which has led to no charges.

"The first thing we did was speak to the alleged victim at which point he said it was all a joke, he was part of it, he was a willing participant," West New York Police Chief Robert Antolos said.

The incident came to light on April 4 when video on social media showed the victim being bound by his wrists, waist and ankles.

"Our best interest is our kids, you know I have three children, I would not like for any of my kids to be hazed or bullied in the school system," Mayor Felix Roque said.

The West New York school district has an entire anti-bullying policy which says that a person has to be targeted because of a characteristic to be classified as bullying.

This case may not fit under that definition, but one person who saw the social media post of the incident described it as a clear case of hazing.

Antolos said all of the eight students involved agreed to pull off the incident.

"The whole consensus was it was a joke, they all got together and basically put it out there for social media," Antolos said.

Meanwhile the Board of Education is still in the review process. Superintendent Clara Brito Herrera released the following statement:

"My Administration and the Board of Education take all complaints seriously and are committed to conducting a thorough investigation and pursuing disciplinary/corrective action, if warranted."

It looks like the mayor and police see the case differently. The school district's review should be complete by next week.


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