Pei-Sze Cheng and Gus Rosendale, NBC New York, March 11, 2015
Police on Long Island are investigating after high school students brawled with one another using baseball bats and brass knuckles following a lunchroom dispute.
A family member of one of the students involved tells NBC 4 New York the brawl over the weekend was a manifestation of ongoing racial tensions between the students.
The melee broke out Saturday afternoon in an industrial park in Ronkonkoma following a dispute at Connetquot High School in Bohemia, police and family members of those involved say. Authorities say about 10 students were involved in the fight, some bringing baseball bats and brass knuckles.
Video obtained by NBC 4 New York shows several teens standing in a street arguing before the fight breaks out. One person, who is black, accuses a white person of calling him a racial epithet. Then, one of the participants can be seen pulling a metal bat out and handing it to another person.
Then, a person can be heard saying, “Take the brass knuckles off, bro” to the teen who initially had the bat. That person is then heard yelling expletives and, “I’m from Queens, New York!”
The video shows a third teen run up and punch one of the other teens in the face. At that point, all the students begin brawling in the street.
The fight lasted about 10 minutes, police say. Student Nicholas Abrahamson suffered a broken jaw and was taken to Stony Brook Hospital for surgery. No other students were seriously hurt.
Parents packed into a standing-room only Connetquot Central school board meeting Tuesday night to express concern over the violent incident and questioned whether the school did enough to prevent it.
In addition to increasing security measures following the fight and conducting random bag checks on students, the school district said at the meeting it will set up a task force to deal with harassment and set up a mediation system for feuding students.