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January 6, 2023, 7:55 PM

Longer video surfaces of wild Staten Island bus-stop melee; 'It's upsetting,' girl's mom says

By Staten Island Advance, N.Y. (TNS)

Jan. 6—STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — A new video has surfaced showing a different perspective on the bus-stop melee involving youths in Port Richmond that led to the suspension of an NYPD officer.

The new footage, shot from about 15 feet away, on the other side of the Egbert Triangle green space, shows the officer in question appear to throw a series of punches, beginning four seconds into the clip.

The 30-second video shows the chaotic scene that unfolded on Tuesday at around 2:50 p.m. in the 121st Precinct near a bus stop where Port Richmond Avenue, Forest Avenue and Willowbrook Road meet.

In the footage, kids, most of them female, can be seen crowded around the officer, who has since been suspended by the NYPD pending investigation, while a second officer comes in frame to attempt to break up participants.

Someone can be heard saying "Come help me," from the other side of the grassy area.

The video appears to show at least five officers surrounded by a group of agitated children across the street from a pawn shop and check-cashing business.

One officer can be seen reaching for handcuffs to place on the girl that the officer in question appeared to strike. The first can be seen holding onto the child as she is placed in handcuffs.

Kids in the crowd wear shocked expressions.


The mother of the child shown in the video has since stepped forward to speak about the situation.

"It's upsetting," the girls' mother, Taneesha Robinson, said to The New York Post. "I mean, it's really upsetting to see a man hit a woman, but even more so to see a grown man hitting a 14-year-old girl and then just even more upsetting when that grown man is a police officer who's supposed to be out there protecting women and children."

The footage showed the cop — identified by outlets as Nicholas Scalzo — roughly handling Robinson's daughter.

"It's shocking," she told the Post. "You don't expect that."

Patrick J. Lynch, the city's Police Benevolent Association president, said: "The police officers involved are entitled to due process, not summary judgment based on a few seconds of video. What is clear at this point is that these police officers were trying to break up a violent altercation when they themselves were assaulted. What is needed now is a thorough investigation of the entire circumstances, not just what has been posted online."


The bus stop where the melee took place is frequented by students from schools in the area and is "a known trouble spot," a source with knowledge of the investigation told the Advance/

The incident escalated when two sisters, ages 12 and 14, allegedly assaulted a 14-year-old girl, the source said.

Officers from a fixed post in the vicinity intervened in an attempt to stop the fight.

One of the suspects allegedly punched an officer in the face and both of the girls who were suspects allegedly resisted arrest, according to the source.

After viewing the initial footage, Mayor Eric Adams defended the NYPD while simultaneously voicing his displeasure with the video.

"I was not happy with what I saw in the video," the mayor said, adding that he spoke with Commissioner Keechant Sewell and Schools Chancellor David Banks.

The mayor stressed that the skirmish, which happened around dismissal time, did not take place on school property.

Adams announced on Thursday plans to visit the school attended by the students in the scuffle.

"I'm going to go to Staten Island and I'm going to go visit that school," Adams said during a press conference on end-of-year crime statistics. "I'm calling all of my electeds in that community. I'm calling my religious leaders in that community. Let's get over to that school and find out what's going on."

Local politicians expressed concern about the video, as well.

"Yesterday, an incident occurred at the dismissal of I.S. 51 middle school, where a student was seen involved in an altercation with an NYPD officer," Councilwoman Kamilla Hanks (D-North Shore) said in a statement first posted on social media.

"I would like to thank the concerned community member who sent me the video of this incident," she said. "I immediately contacted the NYPD to request an investigation. I am encouraged by the NYPD's swift and appropriate response to this matter. Let me be clear — violence against our children is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. I appreciate the community's patience while the NYPD conducts its investigation."