Four New Jersey teenagers have been charged in connection with the attack of a 14-year-old girl who later took her own life after video of the incident was posted on social media.
One juvenile is charged with aggravated assault, two juveniles are charged with conspiracy to commit aggravated assault and one juvenile is charged with harassment, Ocean County prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer told CBS News in an email.
Adriana Kuch, 14, was found dead in her Bayville home on February 3, two days after the disturbing video of the attack at Central Regional High School was posted online. The video showed girls throwing a drink at the teen, then kicking and dragging her down school hallways. They pushed Adriana into red lockers lining the school hallways and one of the girls in a pink shirt punched Kuch repeatedly.
Another girl outside of the video frame laughed as she recorded the scene. Two adults came in to break up the attack, with one adult pulling the teens apart. Adriana lay hurt and bruised on the hallway floor as the adult tried to help her up.
One of the girls said, “That’s what you get.”
“She loved life. She was the happiest kid. Everybody loved her,” her father, Michael Kuch, told CBS New York on Thursday, adding that he’s angry and wants everyone to see the video and what the teens did to his daughter.
Kuch said police should have been called immediately because the students, who he said his daughter had been having problems with, smashed her face with a 20-ounce bottle.
“If they called the police and did an investigation, those girls would not have posted videos from school,” Kuch said.
He also said his daughter, who had bruises on her body, should’ve been taken to the hospital.
“We always address every issue of bullying and on the day of the incident four students were suspended,” Dr. Triantafillos Parlapanides, superintendent of schools, told CBS New York.
School officials told CBS New York that they notified the family and called Adriana’s death horrible.
Each teenager and their guardian was served with a copy of their complaint and were released pending future court appearances, the prosecutor told CBS News.
Students at the school staged a walkout Wednesday in support of Adriana’s family.
If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or a suicidal crisis, you can reach the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by calling or texting 988. You can also chat with the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline here.
For more information about mental health care resources and support, The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) HelpLine can be reached Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.–10 p.m. ET, at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.