Dover Police have arrested one juvenile and identified four others in an attack on a Parkway Academy student.
Detectives with the Dover Police Department have identified the five suspects in an April 29 assault that took place on a school bus.
The attack was captured in a 30-second video by one of the five teenagers, which was then posted on the Internet. Dover Police became aware of the attack through routine monitoring of social media sites, said department spokesman Cpl. Mark Hoffman.
Although the police department revealed the identities of the five suspects in a press release, their names are being withheld in keeping with Dover Post’s policy of not publishing the names of juveniles unless they have been charged with felony crimes.
Each student, including the 15-year-old Frederica boy who recorded the video, will be charged with a single count of third-degree assault and third-degree conspiracy.
One student, a 16-year-old from Milford, was arrested April 30, and later released to a parent pending an appearance in Kent County Family Court.
According to the warrant of probable cause, released by Justice of the Peace Court 7, Dover, the assault took place at approximately 3 p.m. while a busload of students from the Parkway Central Academy was being driven home.
The attack actually occurred on Sedgewick Drive, Magnolia, but Dover authorities assumed responsibility for the case since the bus was considered an extension of school property.
Parkway Academy is located at 111 S. West St., Dover; it is one of four schools operated by Providence of Delaware, of Wilmington, a subsidiary of Providence Service Corporation, and, according to its website, is an alternative discipline school that provides individual services for troubled students. Parkway’s pupils travel daily to the school from their home school districts.
PSC Regional Vice President Abdul-Malik Muhammad said the school has been working with the students’ home district to address disciplinary matters.
“Parkway Academy Central is deeply saddened and concerned by the recent incident that took place on Tuesday involving an act of violence by some of our students on one of our school buses,” he said in a statement to the Dover Post.
Victim calls for help
The video shows the 15-year-old victim, who is white, sitting by himself as another student walks up the aisle. That student then attacks him from behind, while a second joins in and a third jumps over an empty seat to also join the attack. The victim falls to the floor in the aisle, covering his head and face with his arms.
All of the attackers were black, according to the warrant.
The victim is heard calling for help at least once during the incident as the bus continues moving. The bus driver apparently made no attempt to stop the assault; Muhammad said the driver has been placed on administrative leave until an investigation is completed.
Hoffman said the victim did not suffer serious injuries, although the warrant noted he suffered “substantial pain and swelling” to the back of his head.
All of the suspects were identified through the cooperation of the Parkway Academy staff, Hoffman said.
In addition to the person who recorded the attack, the assailants include a 17-year-old from Magnolia and three Milford students, ages 15, 16 and 17.
Warrants have been issued for all four remaining students, Hoffman said, adding the police will thoroughly investigate any similar incidents.
“The Dover Police Department will not stand for this kind of violence or activity in our schools or on our school buses,” he said. “All of our children, regardless of what school they attend, should feel safe in that environment and not have to deal with type of behavior.”