WETHERSFIELD -- Sandie Starkowsi said she feels grateful that her 13-year-old son survived a violent robbery.
Starkowski's son, a middle school student, was waiting for the bus Monday morning around 7:30 when two cars pulled alongside him and the people inside demanded his belongings. He refused and then two young high school-aged boys got out of a white Honda CR-V, pushing the middle school student to the ground.
Starkowski said the older boys unzipped her son's pocket to steal his cell phone, punched him, kicked him and took his backpack, which had his Chromebook and school supplies. Despite all of that, her son did not seek medical attention.
"My son decided he did want to go to school as soon as he calmed down a little bit," said Starkowski, adding that she felt humbled by the Wethersfield response.
"I am so appreciative of the entire community," she said. "The police were fantastic; they responded so quickly this morning. I got on the phone with the school immediately."
According to the Wethersfield Police Department, there was also a blue Honda involved in the incident.
"They forcibly took the items from him and they left," said Lt. Andrew Power of the Wethersfield Police Department. "They went north on Yale street."
The suspects are described as seven boys around the age of 16. He said he suspects they were involved in recent car thefts.
People who live nearby said they were surprised this happened to one of their own neighbors.
"They’re good people," said Bobby Almeida, a friend of the family. "They don’t deserve it. I know the kid. He’s a great kid."
Almeida has two young daughters of his own. He sat them down to talk to them about what happened, and also explained how he would stand strong for his neighbors.
"We take care of our own in Wethersfield," he said.
The incident remains under investigation and anyone with information is asked to contact the Wethersfield Police Department.