Student reportedly attacked near city bus stop

6:04 PM, Mar 16, 2013   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS - A 17-year-old Patrick Henry High School student told police that he was followed and attacked on March 13th as he walked home from a Metro Transit bus stop.

This is the third such incident involving Henry High students since the Minneapolis district from using traditional school buses to using city buses.

The teenager in the March 13th incident told Kare 11's Allen Costantini that two men, about 18 or 19 years old, threatened his life.

"One of the guys came up to me and he said, 'Are you him?' and a little after that, he said 'Don't move or we'll kill you' and they dragged me to the ground and started to remove the iPod from my pocket," said the teenager. "One of them kicked me once in the head and the other punched me a few times also in the head."

The student said he did not recognize either of his attackers, but believes they were on the #19 bus with him and followed him from the bus stop at 21st and Penn Avenue in North Minneapolis.

"After they stole my iPod, I called the cops," the teenager said.
Kare11 concealed the teenager's image at his request.

His mother, Tracy Nightengale, is angry with the district after what happened to her son. She calls the #19 bus line that her son rides one of the most dangerous bus lines in the city.

"They are just waiting for incidents to happen," she said. "They are putting all of the kids in jeopardy."

Nightengale said she now drives her son to and from school, so that he can complete his senior year at Henry High. She said she may join with other upset parents and sue the district to try to restore the traditional yellow school buses.

In a statement provided by the Minneapolis School District, spokesperson Rachel Hicks said they believe students are "just as safe riding public transportation as they are riding on traditional yellow school buses...As of the beginning of February, there were fewer than 12 incidents reported to MPS since the introduction of the Go-To Student Pass."

Students can use the pass to attend after-school activities in addition to transit to and from school. The statement says senior high school students at five high schools, as well as Wellstone and Transition Plus, have taken more than 700,000 rides in the first six months.

Hicks also said that a survey of 900 students found 90.77% of students reporting they "like" or "love" the Go-To Pass.

Still, Hicks says, "Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) takes student and parent concerns regarding student safety seriously and we are working closely with the Minneapolis Police Department and Metro Transit Police to ensure our students are safe..."

Two incidents in January involved attacks on Henry High School students. None of the reported incidents has been on the actual buses, but rather near or at bus stops.

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