Newburgh, NY – A city of Newburgh police officer was injured when he disarmed a student with a knife who said he brought the weapon to school because he thought he was going to be attacked for a second time.
Newburgh Police Officer Humberto Perez was acting in the capacity of a community outreach officer at Newburgh Free Academy’s main campus at about 10 a.m. on April 8 when the incident occurred, according to the Times Herald-Record.
Officer Perez was assisting school administrators who were dealing with an upset parent when he noticed the woman’s son had a kitchen knife concealed in his pants.
The officer asked the 16-year-old boy if he was carrying a knife and the boy became evasive, the Times Herald-Record reported.
There was a struggle for the knife, during which Officer Perez received multiple deep wounds to his hands from a serrated knife.
Ultimately, the officer was able to disarm the student, the Times Herald-Record reported.
Officer Perez was transported to St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital in a police car for treatment of his cuts, and later released.
The student was not injured in his altercation with the officer.
The boy said that he had brought the knife to school because he was afraid he was going to be beaten up and robbed, again, Times Hudson Valley Media reported.
He told police the he did not feel safe and feared he was being targeted, Spectrum News reported.
It turned out that just five days before Officer Perez caught him with the knife, the student had been attacked and robbed of his cell phone by a large group of his classmates.
That incident began at about 2:30 p.m. on April 3 when 50 to 70 students gathered on South Street and Robinson Avenue, Times Hudson Valley Media reported.
The crowd was eventually dispersed but a fight broke out, during which the 16-year-old student was assaulted and robbed.
Seven students have been arrested in connection with that incident.
Five 17-year-old male students were charged as adults with two felony counts each of 2nd-degree robbery, Times Hudson Valley Media reported.
The two 16-year-old offenders will also be charged as adults with the same charges, but they will processed by the youth section of the county court in Goshen.
Three of the boys involved in the attack and robbery of the 16-year-old student were members of the varsity football and basketball teams at Newburgh Free Academy, according to Times Hudson Valley Media.
Police were investigating how the student was able to get into the school, through metal detectors, with a knife in his pants, the Daily Freeman reported.
Newburgh Police Sergeant Joseph Rutigliano said it was believed the boy had brought the knife from home.
Thus far, the 16 year old has not been charged with bringing the knife to school.
“I don’t know that we’re going to," Sgt. Rutigliano said. "We’re kind of looking at the big picture right now."
He said the public would be made aware if charges were filed eventually filed against the student, the Times Herald-Record reported.
Newburgh Free Academy is a public magnet high school with almost 3,200 students.