Community outraged after New Jersey teens accused of using racial slurs, urinating on girl

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Tuesday, October 22, 2019
Two 17-year-olds charged with bias intimidation
Two 17-year-olds charged with bias intimidation: Jeannette Reyes reports during Action News at Noon, October 22, 2019.

LAWRENCE, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Tuesday morning during a press conference parents and other community members expressed outrage over how Lawrence Township Police responded to a bias incident involving middle school girls.

"It was a shocker to see all of this transpire at the game...normally something like this doesn't happen," said Erykah, a parent.

Lawrence Twp Police say four middle school girls were harassed when they attended a football game Friday night at Lawrence High School. Two 17-year-old boys of Indian descent are accused of hurling racial slurs at the girls. The victims say the teens urinated on at least one of them.

"This was a very small portion of students that are not tolerant of each other, that don't accept each other. And I don't see that in our schools, and I don't see that in our lunchrooms," said Ross Kasun, Superintendent of the Lawrence Township School District.

"I'm, of course, concerned that this is happening in our community and I want to know what's being done about it," said Willard Dennis, of Lawrence Township.

Mayor Christopher Bobbit was informed of the incident the same night it happened and urged police to look into it. Authorities launched an investigation the next day.

Police Chief Brian Coloiaro said the two boys are facing a slew of charges, including bias intimidation and lewdness. Others may be charged as police continue to interview witnesses.

But tensions in the room rose as the chief insisted that none of the students reported the incident to any of the five officers covering the event that night.

"If they had been told in any way, shape or form at that field they would have gone and taken appropriate action," said Caloiaro.

"They went to the police officers told what happened and they were essentially like pushed off and brushed away," said Darren "Freedom" Green, a community advocate.

The mother of one of the victims, who asked not to be identified, says her daughter is struggling with what happened. She hopes the suspects will be held responsible and that a diversity curriculum will be implemented in the school district.

Authorities said they have purposely not released additional details because this is an ongoing investigation, but they are urging any witnesses to come forward if they have additional information.