A disturbing new video has emerged showing a sixth-grader cowering in the bathrooms as a bully hits him at same Bronx school where a teen finally stabbed and stabbed one of his tormentors to death on Wednesday, according to police.
The 38-second cellphone clip reportedly shows a 12-year-old boy being assaulted by a classmate in the bathrooms of the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation, New York, last May.
Video shows the victim cowering in the corner, trying to protect his face, as a taller boy appears to taunt him before punching him in the face.
Video shows the victim cowering in the corner, trying to protect his face, as a taller boy appears to taunt him before punching him in the face
The 38-second cellphone clip reportedly shows a 12-year-old boy being assaulted by a classmate in the bathrooms of the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation, New York, last May
The victim’s mother, Luz Albrego, claims she reported the incident to the school last May but officials failed to act, and one teacher had even tried to deny the incident ever took place on school grounds.
‘No one got in trouble,’ Albrego, 46, told the New York Post. ‘They told me to get counseling for my son. They didn’t suspend the boy who was hurting my son. They never told me nothing after that.’
She added that not only had the school failed to address the problem, but the principal had refused to see her.
‘She is always too busy. I said, ‘This is my son being bullied on video. If no one listens, I go to the district,’ said Albrego.
Video of bullying incident has emerged after another Urban Assembly School student snapped and stabbed a classmate to death after a relentless campaign of bullying, according to friends.
Abel Cedeno, 18, reportedly attacked 15-year-old Matthew McCree and 16-year-old Ariane LaBoy after they started throwing pencils at him in their morning history class on Wednesday.
Abel Cedeno (pictured Wednesday) has been charged with murder and attempted murder after stabbing one of his classmates to death and critically injuring another
Friends of the 18-year-old said he was ruthlessly bullied at his high school in the Bronx
‘Everybody just stood back. A few of them were holding Matthew. A few of them were holding towels on the wound,’ classmate Jomarlyn Colon, 16, told the Daily News. ‘All the kids were crying and screaming.’
Cedeno had gone to the bathroom, got out a switchblade and returned to class to stab and slash both teens – killing McCree and critically injuring LaBoy.
Friends say Cedeno suffered weeks of abuse that reportedly pushed him to breaking point.
‘The kids were calling him a f*****, calling him a s**c,’ Savannah Hornback, 34, who works at the Bronx Community Pride Center, told the New York Daily News before Cedeno’s arraignment on Thursday.
But police say that Cedeno had never been picked on before by the two younger students he attacked Wednesday morning.
Now the grieving stepfather of McCree has spoken out to deny his stepson was ever a bully, adding he was ‘in no way bad.’
‘He was very loving,’ Kyle Victor, 34, told the Post. ‘Every child has their little ways and you know a 15-year-old — emotions and hormones running around — but he was in no way bad.’
While there have been wide reports of Cedeno’s victimization, police say that Wednesday was the first time that he had been picked on by Matthew McCree, 15 (left), and 16-year-old Ariane LaBoy (right)
Police brought in metal detectors to the school so that classes could resume safely on Thursday
Victor, who raised McCree since the kid was seven, said it was wrong his stepson was being painted as ‘some mean person’ after his death.
‘Matthew was not like that at all and they’re making it look like Mathew did not like gay people. That’s wrong, too,’ he added.
A friend of the murdered teen, Christopher Eason, agreed that it wasn’t ‘in his character’ to bully anyone.
Victor also criticized the school, claiming the teacher had fled the classroom when Cedeno whipped out the knife, and demanding to know why the school had waited until tragedy struck to install metal detectors.
‘I mean, look at this area. This area is very violent and you mean to tell me with all these different ages of kids in the same school, a kindergarten right in the same vicinity, same complex? Come on.’
Yet, Cedeno’s friends argue that the teen was in fact bullied, and it was that which pushed him to breaking point.
Hornback says the tormenting was so bad that Cedeno would often return home from school in tears.
‘Those two kids in the class, they hit him,’ another friend, Iris Couvertier, said. ‘He said that they hit him in the face. He said it’s because he’s gay or bisexual.’
Cedeno told police that he bought this switchblade on Amazon for $13 about two weeks before the attack
Classmates said McCree had been bullying Cedeno (pictured) since the beginning of the school year for his ‘flamboyant’ personality
Yanique Heatley, 18, a student at the school, told reporters that Cedeno was ‘different from the other guys.’
‘He likes Nicki Minaj, stuff from H&M. He likes Kylie Jenner,’ she said.
‘He usually gets bullied a lot,’ said Asia Jones, 18. She said fellow students bothered Cedeno in the hall and ‘talk c**p to him.’
‘He’s nice,’ she said. ‘He’s sensitive. He has a good heart.’
Cedeno’s school, the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Preservation, has a 590-person student body that is mostly Hispanic (71.6 per cent) and black (22.1 per cent).
Another friend told the of the New York Post he was being bullied for his ‘flamboyant’ personality and snapped.
‘I heard he was being harassed,’ she said. ‘He’s not aggressive. Everybody loves Abel. He’s not a bad kid.’
On his Instagram page, Cedeno posted pictures and videos of himself vamping with flowers in his hair, strutting down a street and singing along with female rappers.
On his Instagram page, Cedeno posted pictures and videos of himself vamping with flowers in his hair, strutting down a street and singing along with female rappers
‘I thought I was cute,’ he posted in the caption of one video.
Horbeck says that Cedeno reported the bullying to the school, but administrators didn’t do anything.
‘After it had been reported numerous times and there was no reaction from the school, Abel felt (there was) no other way out,’ Hornback said.
But that conflicts with the police, who say Cedeno never reported the harassment to school officials.
‘He did not reach out to anybody at the school,’ NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said. ‘He had problems before, but not with these two individuals.’
And city Education Department officials have refused to comment on whether the bullying was reported because of privacy laws.
Cedeno told police that he bought the switchblade used in the attack online for protection and had been harassed at least since the school year began. But he didn’t specify why, Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said Thursday.
Friends and family of Cedeno are seen outside of court on Thursday for his arraignment. Pictured second from right is Savannah Hornback, a coordinator at the Bronx Community Pride Center, who said Cedeno told her about the bullying
Witnesses said that Cedeno snapped when the two boys started throwing pencils at him as he was leaving the room to go to the bathroom
When he returned, he took out the knife and started attacking the boys.
Both victims were rushed to the St Barnabas Hospital, where McCree was pronounced dead. LaBoy was last reported in critical but stable condition.
As he was being led out of the precinct on Wednesday, reporters asked Cedeno (pictured) if he had been bullied and he mouthed ‘yes’
Tragically, McCree’s own mother was working at the hospital when her son’s lifeless body was brought in.
Her husband, Kyle Victor, said that she’s in ‘bad shape’.
‘She’s still in shock. She’s still not crying. She’s numb,’ Victor, 34, said.
Victor also spoke out to the Post, saying that his step-son was no bully.
Victor blasted the media for falsely portraying his son as a gay-hating bully.
‘They need to ask the right questions first before they paint someone and make them look like they’re some mean person,’ Victor said. ‘Matthew was not like that at all and they’re making it look like Mathew did not like gay people. That’s wrong, too.’
Victor started raising McCree when he was just seven years old and says that he is ‘in no way bad’.
‘He was very loving,’ Victor said. ‘Every child has their little ways and you know a 15-year-old – emotions and hormones running around – but he was in no way bad.’
Victor wasn’t the only one either. Others took to social media to decry McCree’s portrayal in the media.
One user, who said he was LaBoy’s cousin, said ‘he didn’t even bully that kid’.
The incident happened during a Wednesday morning history class at Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Preservation (above)
Students and parents are led out of the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation on Wednesday
Parents and guardians arriving for after school pickup are blocked at an entry at Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation on Wednesday
After the incident, witnesses say that Cedeno walked out of the room and surrendered the knife to a counselor.
He then walked into the assistant principal’s office, sat down and waited while 911 was called.
He appeared in court for the first time on Thursday for his arraignment.
Family members sitting in the third row stood up as Cedeno entered court so he could see them. Some cried.
The charges against Cedeno include murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, attempted manslaughter, assault and criminal possession of a weapon.
He is being held without bail and is on suicide watch.
Adding stress to his home life was the fact that Cedeno’s mother has been stuck in Puerto Rico ever since the island was decimated by Hurricane Maria.
‘He’s a good kid,’ Norma Perez, 69, a surrogate grandmother for the teen, said. ‘I don’t know what happened this morning. I just know he’s not like that.’
A Facebook user who says he’s a cousin of LaBoy said that neither LaBoy or McCree bullied Cedeno
Police say Cedeno had no prior arrests and was not known to be affiliated with any gang.
But the high school, one of several themed high schools created under Mayor Bill De Blasio’s time in office, has a bad reputation for violence.
A city Education Department survey found that only 19 per cent of teachers at the school felt safe on the campus, which is far below the city average of 75 per cent.
That number was higher for students, at 55 per cent. But that’s still far below the city average of 84 per cent of students.
The school was also the scene of three sex offense cases against students in 2016, plus two assaults with injuries and two incidents of harassment with weapons.
The Urban Assembly school is an intermediate and high school housed in a giant red brick building in the Bronx that also includes an elementary school. There are about 1,100 students there.
It was the first homicide inside a New York City school since 1993, when a 15-year-old student stabbed a classmate to death at a junior high school in Manhattan. That killing came during a stretch that saw four students killed in public schools in 12 months – violence that prompted schools to start installing metal detectors.
The Bronx school was open Thursday. The mayor and schools chancellor were there, and grief counselors were on site. The students were scanned for weapons Thursday, but the building didn’t have metal detectors – police said there hadn’t been a need for them.
City officials and parents have debated for years whether the school system should be installing more metal detectors or taking them away because of the stigma of attending a school deemed unsafe enough to require a weapons check.
‘After yesterday’s incident, of course we’re going to evaluate what goes on throughout the school system,’ Police Commissioner James O’Neill said. ‘Our goal, of course, is to keep the children as safe as possible.’
Deadly violence inside city school buildings is rare, though there has been violence outside, on school property. In 2014, a fight between two 14-year-old boys ended with one stabbed to death outside a Bronx school.