Police in New Jersey have filed charges against a mob of teenagers and a 10 year-old child after they allegedly forced an autistic child to expose himself and then posted video on social media.
The horrific incident allegedly took place at Berdan Grove Park in Fair Lawn, according to ABC7. The Fair Lawn Board of Education called police after a video surfaced on the social media sites TikTok and Snapchat showing a 14-year-old male being cornered by a group of kids, who were led by a 19-year-old.
The victim began to cry as a 10 year-old boy pulled down his pants while a 13 year-old male held him in place. Nobody tried to help the victim, despite the fact that the disturbing ordeal happened in broad daylight.
Police say that the video was recorded by 19-year-old Alis Fidrya and an unidentified 16-year-old, who each then posted it to social media. Fidrya has been charged with invasion of privacy, cyber harassment and harassment, while the 16 year-old has been hit with juvenile charges of invasion of privacy, cyber harassment and harassment. Both the 13 year-old and the 10 year-old are set to be charged with harassment as juveniles.
The community of Fair Lawn has been left appalled by the video.
“People should know better, we’re taught in the high school to respect everyone, to treat people with kindness, and so to see this happen is truly troubling,” one local resident lamented.
Fair Lawn Mayor Kurt Peluso said that the incident was particularly disturbing because the park where the abuse took place was specifically built to be welcoming to kids with disabilities.
“What’s really disturbing is at that park, Berdan Park, that’s an Access For All playground that this community invested a lot of money in to be especially welcoming to those with special needs,” Peluso said.
The Fair Lawn school district sent out a letter to parents condemning the incident, and calling on them to warn their children about the danger of social media.
“This type of behavior is absolutely unacceptable and I implore you to speak to your children about the dangers of such actions and social media,” the letter stated. “We have zero tolerance for such behavior, however, at this point we must first allow law enforcement to conduct their investigation.”