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Ridgewood Teen's Skull Fractured Defending Girl In Cyber-Bullying Incident

Ridgewood High School students were involved in alleged fights and incidents of bullying.
Ridgewood High School students were involved in alleged fights and incidents of bullying. Photo Credit: http://ridgewood.rhs.schoolfusion.us/

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. -- Upset parents in Ridgewood are trying to get to the bottom of a bullying incident apparently captured on Snapchat at Stevens and Brookside fields last weekend.

Given that those involved are juveniles, police and school officials say they've been unable to disclose much, if anything, other than that an incident occurred and an investigation was under way.

Ridgewood's schools chief  called it "disappointing" that other students recorded the "unnecessary and unacceptable" beating of a student who came to the defense of a cyberbullying victim .

But parents -- particularly loved ones of the victim -- want answers.

Relatives say he was beaten so badly that he was hospitalized after standing up on for a girl being bullied.

"At RHS this past weekend, a boy stood up for a girl who is being harassed, and told to kill herself after photographs of her were passed around on social media," Jill Krause, who identified herself as the aunt of the boy who was hospitalized, posted on Facebook.

"He then gets massively bullied and harassed on social media, and then put in the hospital for two and a half days, with surgery to follow," she wrote.

"He is knocked out again, his skull is fractured and his face is broken so severely he needs to have reconstruction surgery when the swelling goes down, and he is in jeopardy of losing the sight in one of his eyes."

The bully apparently used his cellphone to capture an image of the boy laying unconscious on the ground and shared it on Snapchat, Krause wrote.

Jill Krause's brother, Jason, added:

"While in the hospital, my nephew received another Snapchat from the bully saying something like.... 'You're 0 for 2. How about we meet again so I can finish you off,'" Jason Krause wrote.

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Daily Voice Managing Editor Cecilia Levine can be reached at: CLevine@DAILYVOICE.COM

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A Ridgewood man who saw the video told Daily Voice that the fight paled in comparison to what led up to it.

"Weeks of taunting, and a girl was involved -- that's the worst part," said the man who saw the video. "That stuff that led up to the fight -- it's a freaking shame."

"It looked like a combination of 'Lord of the Flies' and scene from 'The Accused.' -- people watching, sharing, doing nothing," he said.

Ridgewood Supt. Daniel Fishbein declined to comment but issued a statement to parents Friday in an email.

Police Chief Jacqueline Luthcke said the fights are being investigated.

School officials and police "in an official capacity are bound to protect the privacy and confidentiality of all the [people] involved [because] they are all minors," Edwin Valencia commented on the thread.

"The appropriate authorities are working on the case to understand all the facts and allow everyone due process, transparency as allowed by law, and accountability."

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