Parents seek greater police presence at NJ school after driver beaten

Jan. 24, 2014 at 2:26 PM

CLIFTON, N.J., Jan. 24 (UPI) -- Parents in Clifton, N.J., called for stepped-up police presence after seven high school students were arrested for assaulting a driver passing the school.

The parents' demands came after Clifton High School students, dismissed early on Tuesday because of a snowstorm, walked through traffic on a nearby road.

A group of seven students, age 15 to 17, caused one vehicle to stop suddenly, said police Sgt. Robert Bracken. After one student struck the car with his hand, the driver followed the group down a side street. When he got out asking which of the boys struck the car, one teen lunged at him.

The driver caught the boy in a bear hug, and the others attacked the man, police said, adding the unidentified beating victim suffered severe injuries including broken facial bones and a broken eye socket.

Detectives immediately arrested the boy detained by the driver, and arrested the six others Wednesday. Each was charged with aggravated assault, inciting a riot and two weapons charges, the New Jersey news website NorthJerseycom reported Friday.

Bracken said the police department will review its supervision of the high school.

Keith Bassford, president of the school's Home and School Association, noted the brazen mentality of the boys warrants a greater police presence, adding it is commonplace at the school for students to jaywalk across busy streets and interrupt traffic.

NorthJersey.com reported reactions of disgust and outrage from parents after it published the story online Thursday.

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