By Jenna Bagcal
Police sources confirmed Wednesday that a 15-year-old boy is now in custody on assault and weapons possession charges after slashing a fellow student at Benjamin Cardozo High School in Bayside on Tuesday morning — and causing a 2 1/2 hour lockdown of the campus that alarmed students, parents and staff alike
Police sources told TimesLedger on Dec. 12 that the suspect — whose identity was withheld due to his age — turned himself in on the afternoon of Dec. 11 at the 111th Precinct‘s stationhouse in Bayside.
Law enforcement sources said that the attack occurred at about 8:48 a.m. Tuesday morning when the 15-year-old suspect confronted the 14-year-old male victim inside of the high school at 57-00 223rd St. The perpetrator engaged in a verbal dispute with the victim, authorities said, before slashing him in the head with an “unknown sharp weapon.”
The student was taken to a nearby hospital and is being treated for non-life-threatening injuries. The school promptly went on lockdown as police investigated the assault.
The lockdown lasted in excess of 2 1/2 hours. Students who were arriving for later classes could not get inside the building due to the lockdown, but were allowed to get in at about 11:40 a.m.
According to a source affiliated with the school, a ninth-grade student was stabbed by the suspect. The source alleged that the assailant may have been accompanied by two other students.
After the incident, the victim ran down to the lunch room gushing blood, according to the source, before heading to the school’s emergency room.
The source said that the incident was caught on camera and that authorities knew the identity of the suspect, who had fled the school and headed in the direction of Springfield Boulevard.
Photos and videos of the incident posted by students were circulated on social media.
“Nobody is going to do anything to me. I’m not going to do anything to them. So yeah, I feel safe,” said one of the locked out students, who declined to give his name.
Meanwhile, one parent of a 15-year-old daughter arrived at the scene and expressed anxiety over the situation.
“I’m nervous, scared for my kid,” said the mother, who also declined to give her name.
Erica Diaz, who waited outside the school for about an hour for her siblings, said that “it’s not the first time something has happened in the school.”
She added, “I don’t understand why there hasn’t been metal detectors or anything of that sort added to the school, considering that there’s been bomb threats here and now there’s a stabbing.”
A Cardozo school official addressed parents and the press at around 11 a.m. Tuesday and said that the lockdown would soon be lifted.
“We’re currently in a lockdown only because we want to ensure that the building is clean and safe for our students and staff, and shortly, the lockdown will be lifted,” the official said. “I’m only sent out here to discuss this with the parents to ensure that the students are safe. We’re just doing this as a safety precaution.” The official declined to provide further details about the incident.
An official statement on the Cardozo High School website noted that the incident occurred at 8:48 a.m., and that the lockdown will remain in place “until the investigation is complete.”
“The building is safe, there is no eminent (sic) threat, however we will remain in lockdown until the police investigation is complete. We will continue to post more information as we get it via this media,” the statement noted.
Zach Gewelb, Mark Hallum and Robert Pozarycki contributed to this report.