Two 17-year-old boys are accused of directing the n-word at a group of younger African-American girls – one of whom was also urinated on – at a high school football game in New Jersey, Lawrence Township Police chief Brian Caloiaro said.
“We totally understand that these allegations are very egregious,” Caloiaro said Tuesday. “We want the public to know that we take all crimes here in Lawrence Township seriously, and we’re not going to stop with this investigation until all the facts are uncovered.”
Police had previously declined to specify the racial slurs that were used in the incident. On Tuesday, police said that the victims – all African-American middle school girls – were called the n-word.
The two boys, both Lawrence High School students of Indian descent, were arrested on Saturday night and taken into custody without incident, police said. Both are charged with four counts of bias intimidation and four counts of harassment, and one is also charged with two counts of lewdness.
After processing, they were both released to their parents pending an appearance in juvenile court at a later date, Det. Lt. Joseph Lech said.
Caloiaro said none of the five police officers present at Friday night’s football game were told about the incident.
He said he first learned about the specific allegations from a Facebook post written by a victim’s mother that he saw on Saturday morning.
Detectives then interviewed the mother and four middle school students who agreed to give formal statements about what had happened.
Police also obtained two videos from a social media site that showed parts of the events, which took place in the bleachers during the third quarter of the game, police said.
Lawrence Township Public School Superintendent Ross Kasun said the district was taking the allegations very seriously and said what happened at the game was an “isolated incident.”
“I’m very disappointed in what happened on Friday night,” he said.