Teens ‘pantsed’ special-needs boy, posted video of him exposed online, cops say
FAIR LAWN — A 19-year-old borough resident and three minors all have been accused in a disturbing incident involving a special-needs teenager — whom police say was forcibly video-recorded nude from the waist down in a clip then shared to social media.
According to Fair Lawn Police, a 14-year-old male with a developmental disability was in Berdan Grove Park when a 10-year-old boy pulled down the teen's pants & underwear, and a 13-year-old boy held the teen from moving.
Police also said 19-year-old Alis Fidrya and a 16-year-old girl both videoed the incident on a cell phone and posted the footage to Snapchat & TikTok, where the video was seen by other users.
The minors' names were not disclosed due to their age.
The Fair Lawn Board of Education contacted police on Thursday about the incident.
Fidrya has been charged with two counts of invasion of privacy, as well as cyber-harassment & harassment.
The 16-year-old female has been charged as a juvenile with invasion of privacy, cyber-harassment & harassment.
The 13-year-old and 10-year-old boys each have been charged as a juvenile with harassment.
Police said all of those involved are Fair Lawn residents.
In an open letter shared Thursday, Fair Lawn Superintendent of Schools Nicholas Norcia called the reported incident absolutely unacceptable, and said the district has "zero tolerance for such behavior."
A statement issued by Fidrya's fellow alumni of the Fair Lawn High School Class of 2019, sent Sunday to New Jersey 101.5 by Bernard Moerdler, said the class was collectively appalled by the incident involving a boy with autism and that "the child's crying will resonate with us for a long time."
Rep. Josh Gottheimer reacted Monday to the incident, which he said was a "heinous act of bullying."
In a post on his Facebook page, the Congressman said "I am encouraged that Fair Lawn Public School District has immediately launched an investigation. Fair Lawn Public School District has a thorough and extensive policy on Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying, informed by New Jersey’s Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, which includes incidents that occur off school grounds and with electronic communication."