Over a dozen students at a Coney Island public school had their arms sliced open so they could emulate the violent Hispanic street gang known as MS-13, officials learned last week.
With just days to go before the end of school, three 12-year-old students from P.S. 253 were charged with assault and suspended in connection with the bloody branding that took place in a lunchroom on June 20.
Cops were told that the three students, who are not being named because of their ages, went up to their classmates and suggested that they cut their arms with a razor “like the MS-13 guys do.”
MS-13, also known as Mara Salvatrucha, began as a Central-American gang, but now has members across the country. The Federal Bureau of Investigation have connected its members to a host of criminal activities including drug dealing, drug smuggling, black market gun sales, human trafficking, theft, assaults on law enforcement officials, and contract killings.
While some students voluntarily rolled up their sleeves, others had their arms pinned to a desk and were cut against their will, officials charge.
Administrators at the school, located at 601 Oceanview Avenue, reportedly didn’t know anything about these skin etchings until a parent of one of the students complained the following Monday, stating that her son was cut in the arm after he refused to participate in his classmates’ weird gang initiation. Her child was treated for a minor injury as a result, officials said.
School officials investigated further on June 24, only to find six other students who claimed that they had their arms sliced open against their will, officials said.
The three students were taken into custody that Tuesday and charged with assault. They will answer to their crimes in juvenile court, officials said.
Police said that none of the students suffered any serious injuries.
A spokesperson from the Department of Education said that the three students were suspended before school ended.
She could not speak any further on the incident, which she said was “still under investigation.”