NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Three students from New Rochelle High School were taken to area hospitals following an incident which resulted in a lockdown/lockout of the entire school building earlier today.
The incident began around 11:00 am when a female student with a history of psychological problems refused to follow directions from a school security guard. The student became highly agitated to the point that her house principal was called to the scene. New Rochelle High School, one of the largest high schools in New York State, is divided into four "houses" of about 800 students each. The student is assigned to House 1.
After efforts by House 1 Principal Gustavo Barbosa failed to calm the student, her mother and grandmother were called to the school. A decision was made to transport the student to Montefiore Mount Vernon Hospital for a psychological evaluation. Three New Rochelle Police officers and EMTs were called to the scene.
Three other female students attempted to intervene by gaining access to the House 1 office at which point the incident escalated. The three girls became very loud and threatening, swinging their fists, and spitting on the security guards who had arrived to assist, according to witnesses. Students in the hallway began to join in the shouting. Initially the hallway around House 1 was closed off but, out of concern that more students might get involved, the entire school was put on lockdown/lockout at about 1:15 pm. Students were locked in their classrooms and those outside the building during their lunch period were left stranded outside the building. The police called for backup with about a dozen officers ultimately on scene.
One of the students cooperated when directed to leave the area. She was taken to another office and suspended.
The other three students did not cooperate and had to be physically restrained, first by school security guards and then by police officers. The students repeatedly and violently resisted, according to officials who were present but asked not to be identified.
One witness described the three girls as acting "like demons" and "totally out of control".
The girls were screaming vulgar obscenities at school security guards and police officers.
"One of the worse things I've seen," said one school district employee who was present but asked not to be identified.
The student who began the incident was handcuffed to a stretcher but had to be restrained further as she repeatedly attempted to get off the stretcher.
The other two students were restrained by police and taken away but not before spitting and swinging at police officers. A net was placed over one of the students to prevent her from spitting on officers. Both students may face criminal charges, according to a source with the New Rochelle Police Department.
Due to a lack of ambulances in the City, there was a delay in transporting all three students. The last of the three students left school grounds at 1:54 pm, at which point the lockdown/lockout ended. There was an additional delay as those students who were locked out were brought in while the students locked in were kept in their classroom so that all students could hear an announcement over the PA system.
One school official, again off-the-record, said the response by school security and police to a difficult and highly charged situation was restrained and appropriate under the circumstances.
Rumors flew around the school among students, many saying they heard there was a stabbing. There were no weapons involved and no serious injuries. One security guard was punched in the stomach by one of the students.
There was an incident earlier in the day involving what amounted to a "senior prank" where upwards of 100 students gathered at McKenna Field and Clove Road for a massive water balloon fight. Security guards dispersed the crowd, directing students to dispose of water pistols carried by some of the students.
An incident later in the day involved several students from Albert Leonard Middle School engaged a physical altercation near the high school at the corner of Eastchester Road and Clove Road. Police responded and dispersed the students.
Neither of these two incidents had anything to do with the police response to the incident involving the three students at House 1.
UPDATE: NRPD Statement 5/26
"On May 26, 2016 at 1233hrs the NRPD and EMS responded to the New Rochelle High School on a report of a juvenile student acting out of control in the House 1 office. Upon arrival officers interviewed school administrators, social workers, security and the female students mother who was on scene. The officers were made aware of the students background and that she may be in crisis. After interviewing the student it was determined that she would be transported for an evaluation. The student then became combative with EMS and Officers on scene. While attempting to escort the student out of the school two other female students attempted to physically prevent officers from removing the student from the school. These two students were placed under arrest for obstruction of governmental administration as well as resisting arrest. Additional officers and ambulances responded to assist. The school was temporarily placed on lock down at the Principal request until the incident was resolved."
NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- A New Rochelle High School student was taken to the trauma unit at Jacobi Medical Center in serious conditions with multiple stab wounds after an assault Thursday morning. Police are looking for a suspect who fled the scene, the student assaulted yesterday by a group of 7 New Rochelle High School students. The suspect is the same student who stabbed a classmate at Isaac E. Young Middle School in May 2016.
The incident come is in the wake of a fatal stabbing a week ago Wednesday where one student died and another student was arrested and charged with Murder in the 2nd Degree.
The school is on lockout. Despite this people were seen entering and exiting the building on the Clove Road entrance, also known as the Embassy entrance.
Parents have been arriving at the school over the past 20 minutes seeking to pull their children out of school after the incident. Security personnel appear to be baffled as to how to respond, allowing people to come and go from the building in clear violation of the school safety plan.
UPDATE 10:05 AM: NRHS PARENT ALERT: “There is currently a lockout in effect at NRHS. A lock out is when there is an possible exterior threat and no one is permitted to enter or leave the building. Students are safe and following their normal school schedule. We will lift the lockout once we have received clearance from NRPD.”
Despite this alert, people coming and going from the building (dozens). Lockout still in effect but not in practice.
UPDATE 10:08 AM Alleged perpetrator stabbed another student twice in the genitals with a fork in a Spanish class in the high school.
UPDATE 10:26 AM Iona College Alert “Police activity at NRHS. No reason to believe current threat to Iona, police looking for suspect. Campus Communique to follow.”
UPDATE 10:27 AM Immediately after incident students were placed in a “Stand in Place“ and are now in Lockout.
UPDATE 10:30 AM - NRPD BOLO ALERT for Brian Stamps “Male/Black, 145 pounds, 5’ 7”, medium complexion. Ran out of school at 8:37 a.m.. Last seen wearing green hoodie, blue jeans, dark sneaker, suspect possibly armed with a knife, may be combative.”
UPDATE 10:56 AM News12 reporting police say victim was stabbed in torso. A student inside says torso, says victim was a Freshman, we have a name but not releasing. All media descending, news helicopters overhead. VERY fluid situation.
UPDATE 11:02 AM
The New Rochelle Police Department is currently investigating a stabbing that occurred this morning at the New Rochelle High School. At approximately 8:50am we received a call from the High School Security that a stabbing had occurred in the school, and the suspect, a 15 year old student was seen on video leaving the building shortly thereafter. School staff has issued a “hold in place” order; any questions related to school should be directed to the Board of Education.
Officers and ambulance personnel were dispatched and located a 16 year old student who had suffered two puncture type wounds to his left torso. He was conveyed to a local hospital where he is undergoing treatment. The injuries do not appear to be life threatening at this time. This is an active investigation, so no further information is available at this time. Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the New Rochelle Police Department at 654-2300.
For further information please contact Captain Gazzola 914-654-22
UPDATE 12:27 PM New Rochelle Board of Education Statement on Stabbing at NRHS.
@Access to New Rochelle High School is being tightly controlled today following a stabbing incident in the school this morning.
Immediately after the incident, while one student involved was sought, the school was placed in a hold-in-place mode and the New Rochelle Police Department was notified. In a hold-in-place, students must remain in the class or room they are in, but classes continue.
The school moved to a lockout protocol after the student was seen on security video leaving the building. The lockout was later modified to tight controls on access so that positively identified individuals with legitimate business can enter and exit.
The victim received immediate medical attention and was transported in stable condition to an area hospital. We are working closely with the Police Department in investigating the incident.
Security at the school has been increased in the school since last week’s incident. Police are present at the school building today to assist with maintaining safety.”
UPDATE 12:37 PM Statement to Teachers and Staff at New Rochelle High School
“This is an update. There was a stabbing incident in the school this morning. Immediately after the incident, while one student involved was sought, the school was placed in a hold-in-place mode and the New Rochelle Police Department was notified.
The school moved to a lockout protocol after the student was seen on security video leaving the building. The lockout has been modified to tight controls on access so that positively identified individuals with legitimate business can enter and exit.
The victim received immediate medical attention and was transported in stable condition to an area hospital. We are working closely with the Police Department in investigating the incident. Police are present in the building. Please explain to your students that the school is is taking every precaution to keep them safe, but if they are concerned they can go to their house office where we have clinical staff available to work with them.
As teachers and staff we need to support our students and secure their safety. We thank you for your cooperation and understanding.
We will be having a faculty meeting right after school today in the Whitney Young Auditorium.
New Rochelle High School”
EDITOR’S NOTE: There is no approved school safety plan for NRHS that calls for the above described response.
UPDATE 2:41 PM Iona College Statment to Staff/Faculty on stabbing.
"Iona College stands with the City of New Rochelle, New Rochelle High School, first responders and the greater New Rochelle community in prayer, concern and action during this difficult time.
Earlier this morning there was a reported stabbing at New Rochelle High School. The College is in consistent and informed communication with the New Rochelle Police Department (NRPD). NRPD has shared there is no reason to believe there is a threat to the Iona College community. The alleged suspect is being sought by law enforcement.
Nonetheless and as a precautionary measure, Iona College is increasing its campus security officer presence on campus and in the immediate vicinity. As a result, all traffic is being routed though the main entrance of campus on North Avenue. The New Rochelle Police Department has also increased police patrols near the high school and immediate vicinity.
We recognize that recent events with New Rochelle High School students have caused concern for members of the Iona College community. There will be an open meeting at 2 p.m., in the McGrath Room in the LaPenta Student Union for any member of the Iona College community who may have questions or concerns.
All members of the campus community are encouraged to report any safety concerns to Iona Campus Safety at 914-633-2560
UPDATE 3:31 PM Joint statement from Board of Education President Rachel Relkin, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian Osborne, Mayor Noam Bramson and City Manager Chuck Strome.
Mayor Bramson and City Manager Strome will hold a MEDIA AVAILABILITY at 3:30 PM at City Hall, City Manager’s Conference Room.
A statement will follow shortly from the City School District regarding an upcoming public forum on Tuesday, January 23 at 7:00 PM in the Whitney M. Young Auditorium at New Rochelle High School.
UPDATE 3:36 PM Schools Superintendent Dr. Brian Osborne meeting now with faculty/staff in wake of another stabbing involving New Rochelle High School students.
UPDATE 3:52 PM JOINT STATEMENT FROM CITY AND BOE
JOINT STATEMENT FROM NEW ROCHELLE BOARD OF EDUCATION PRESIDENT
RACHEL RELKIN, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS DR. BRIAN OSBORNE,
MAYOR NOAM BRAMSON AND CITY MANAGER CHUCK STROME
”There is no higher priority than the safety of our children, and there is no asset of greater importance to New Rochelle than public confidence in our schools.
Within the past week, there have been three violent incidents involving New Rochelle High School students, two off school grounds, and the most recent in a classroom. Each of these incidents in isolation would be a matter of grave concern. Coming in such quick succession, they pose an urgent challenge that commands our full attention.
To address this challenge, we are taking the following immediate steps:
• Uniformed Police officers have been assigned to the primary access points surrounding New Rochelle High School, and, in addition, a uniformed presence will be assigned to the school building itself, until further notice.
• Police presence and visibility along North Avenue south of New Rochelle High School will be enhanced during hours when students tend to congregate or travel to and from school. This presence will augment a long-standing practice of assigning resources to areas with a high concentration of student traffic.
• Access to New Rochelle High School will be strictly controlled and enforced.
These incidents have also raised broader questions about security protocols and associated policies. We are, therefore, initiating a top-to-bottom, high-level review of all practices, procedures, and policies that may be directly or indirectly related to student safety. This review will build on and augment the ongoing coordination between City and School authorities.
While the City and School District have distinct roles and responsibilities, it is vital that we continue to work constructively in service to the community we serve together.
Notwithstanding the difficulty and seriousness of this moment, we remain entirely confident of our community’s positive, safe, and bright future – and determined to individually and collectively do our parts to restore the trust and peace of mind that all parents and residents deserve.”