SPARTA, NJ- Two Sparta boys have been charged with simple assault in an attack that took place at Ungerman Field in mid July. According to police both boys are 14 years old, as is the victim.
Several people video recorded the assault but no one called the police during the attack, according to Det. Sgt. Jeff McCarrick. It was still daylight on the warm July evening.
McCarrick said the police were made aware of the incident when several people forwarded copies of videos to Sparta Police Officers they knew. The videos had been posted on social media.
Chief Neil Spidaletto said they also received messages through the Sparta Police Department facebook page. Police initiated an investigation, though the family of the victim was initially reluctant to come forward, McCarrick said.
In New Jersey a simple assault is typically considered a disorderly persons offense for, in part, “attempting to cause bodily injury, purposely, knowingly or recklessly and attempting, by physical menace, to put another person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury,” according to N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1. Because they are juveniles the case will be heard in family court, according to McCarrick.
According to statute, potential sentences for juvenile delinquents could include; probation, community service, mental health counseling, detention/incarceration, suspension of driving privileges or restitution.
A third 14-year-old who was also involved in the assault will receive a “courthouse adjustment,” according to McCarrick. As such the penalty will be decided between the family and the court.
Spidaletto said he wants the public to know the police department does monitor the anonymous facebook messenger.