A Maplewood Middle School student was attacked by a group of fellow students in Memorial Park on Thursday afternoon, June 26. Maplewood police report that two students were arrested after the altercation.
Police report that the student, a 14-year-old boy, was with a group of friends near the Amphitheater at around 1 p.m. when he was approached by another 14-year-old MMS student in a group who asked him for money, said Capt. Michael Marucci of the Maplewood Police Department.
After the boy refused to give his money, the other teen punched him in the chest, said Marucci. The boy had no injuries and did not require hospitalization, Marucci said. However, an eye witness account by another student at the incident paints a picture of a more aggressive attack (see below) involving several blows and multiple attackers.
Police arrested the boy and another 14-year-old MMS student for simple assault, said Marucci, who said both were released to their parents pending further investigation and possible charges.
Marucci said the boys all knew one another, but the motive for the attack is still unclear.
Parents of the boy who was attacked are considering pressing charges, according to another parent.
Update June 27, 2014, 3:40 p.m. One of the students in the park contacted The Village Green with additional details about the incident, some of which differ with the police report. Village Green has verified the identity of the student and his presence at the incident, but is withholding his name from this report.
The student’s report is as follows:
“Three other friends and I were hanging out in the park near the top of the hill near the train station. Another person in our grade and his older brother were at the bottom of the hill. Six kids in our grades rode up to them at the bottom of the hill and seemed to be hassling them. After a few minutes, they came up the hill and demanded money from one of my friends. He had a recent concussion and did not want to get hurt again, so he gave them his money. Then, all of the boys, who are in our grade except for one who was held back and one who we did not know, went up to another friend. They asked him for money, and when he replied that he did not have any, they grabbed him and searched his pockets, which were empty. Suddenly, five out of the six boys started punching the student who they searched. They punched him many times in the head and chest against his calls for them to stop, and after he was thrown to the ground, they left (two of them were on bikes). The older brother down at the bottom of the hill had called the police due to their hassling, and only a few minutes after the assailants had left, they arrived. They took our information and asked for the names of the boys who attacked us, then asked the boy who was attacked and the boy who had money stolen to come with them to ID the attackers. They caught all of the assailants and one was in handcuffs separated from the rest of the group.”