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Torrington community reacts to video of boy being bullied by teens

TORRINGTON - Parents and students are outraged at a video circulating online.

It shows a Connecticut boy being bullied at Besse Park.

It happened Monday around 2 p.m. shortly after school was let out. A witness told FOX 61 the boy was bullied all the way down the street as he was going home. The incident was captured on video and police have started an investigation.

"It was chaos walking down the hill. It was bullying, yelling, screaming," said James Fenton, a student of Oliver Wolcott Technical School.

Police said the video shows three boys assaulted another boy at and near the park.

Fenton said he saw it happening but did not think much of it at first.

"I noticed a bunch of kids that pushed each other against a wall and whatnot and thinking, 'oh, it's just pushing their friends around' like they always do because they always cause trouble like that," added Fenton.

The video was first captured on Snapchat and it has been shared all over Facebook. Police said the victim made a hand gesture that may have been misunderstood.

"Kids shouldn't be bullied because he put a peace sign. I don't find that offensive to anyone," added Fenton.

Fenton added the teens have been known to cause trouble in the past. He said at one point, they also threatened to punch him and take his bike.

Laamaj Minnifie is a good friend of the victim who said he was upset to find out what happened.

"Very nice. Very caring and very hilarious too," said Minnifie.

Minnifie said since the incident, there have been a lot of support for the boy.

"Well, they're just saying really nice things, standing around making sure he's all good and safe and giving him rides to and from school," added Minnifie.

Torrington Public Schools released a letter acknowledging the assault and part of the letter said:

"After the investigation, when we find out any students have in fact been treated inappropriately in any way, we take appropriate action to keep students safe and to hold the responsible students accountable."

One mother said she had gone on Facebook and saw community chat groups talk about the assault. She said she thinks the parents of the boys need to step up.

"We all know that bullying is wrong, that it should not be tolerated and try to understand from the victims' pint of view of what they're feeling and what they're going through," said Kathleen Slabinski of Torrington.

Police said they have identified the three teens in the video but so far, no arrests have been made. They said they need to investigate further to determine if this was a racially motivated incident.