Six students accused of assaulting another student and a teacher at the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts last fall have been cleared of criminal conduct accusations by an Erie County grand jury, the county's top law enforcement official said today.
"After hearing all of the evidence (the grand jury) determined that a dismissal of all charges was warranted as to all six students involved," Erie County District Attorney Frank J. Clark said.
The grand jury was asked to consider assault in the third degree after an incident with another student. The jury was asked to consider and second-degree assault charges linked to injuries suffered by teacher Robert Kurasiewicz when he intervened to try to stop the incident, Clark said.
Clark acknowledged that Kurasiewicz was "caught in the middle of the fight" but he declined further comment.
Mario Colon, 17, of Madison Street; Jay Hawkins, 17, of Box Avenue and Adrian Price, 17, of Manhart Street had all been charged with assault, gang assault and harassment after the incident at the Clinton Street school about 12:15 p.m. Nov. 17.
Those three and three other 17-year-old students never publicly identified by authorities were accused of barging into a classroom and attacking a 16-year-old student, according to a police report.
Kurasiewicz was pinned to a desk and punched several times when he tried to stop the incident. Taken by ambulance to Buffalo General Hospital that day for a precautionary evaluation, Kurasiewicz suffered chest pain, dizziness and pain to his legs,.
All six students were initially suspended from school but neither school authorities, teachers union spokesman or Kurasiewicz could be immediately reached for comment.