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A Marine Park junior high school was evacuated and up to 28 were injured when four girls allegedly unleashed a cloud of pepper spray inside a crowded cafeteria Thursday, police report.
Police, firemen, and medical personnel were called to Intermediate School 278 on Stuart Street between Fillmore Avenue and Avenue U at 12:52 pm, where they found the entire student body filed onto the street, with some being treated for injuries related to inhaling and coming into contact with the airborne irritant.
Following the incident, several eighth-grade students at the school called the paper claiming to have witnessed the harrowing incident, and described the scene inside the cafeteria as utter chaos after the pepper spray was released.
“People were crying, I was crying, there was screaming, people were throwing up, they couldn’t breath,” said an eighth-grade girl, who was inside the cafeteria during the incident. “It was terrible. The teachers were furious.”
Another girl claiming to witness the incident said that, despite the four arrests, only two girls were responsible for all the mayhem — one for bringing the pepper spray into the school, and another for actually spraying it.
“There were only two people involved that got arrested, and then there were two people who weren’t involved, who also got arrested,” said an eighth-grade student at IS 278, claiming to be a witness.
The girls described the amount of pepper spray unleashed as relatively small compared to all the havoc it caused and that students, especially those prone to asthma attacks, were affected even on the far end of the lunch room where the noxious spray was unleashed.
“There was one boy who had an asthma attack and he was all the way across the cafeteria,” said one girl.
Two student were moved from school grounds to Maimonides Medical Center, according to an FDNY spokeswoman.
Students were allowed back into the school shortly after 2 pm, or about an hour after the incident, but it was to near to the closing bell to carry on with classes and the students were released.
Three 14-year-old girls and one 13-year-old cops think were responsible for the pepper spray were arrested at the scene.Reach reporter Colin Mixson at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (718) 260-4514.
©2013 Community Newspaper Group
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