A Manhattan high school student who was locked in a refrigerator by classmates told NBC 4 New York he's faced taunts since the incident and "I don't know who to watch my back from."
The 16-year-old boy, who asked not to be identified, was locked in the commercial fridge at Food and Finance High School on West 50th Street on May 6.
Three students were arrested after the incident, and students at the school said last week that it was a prank. But the boy who was locked in the fridge said he doesn't see it that way and that he's been ostracized since the incident.
"I feel like it's me against everybody at this point," he said on Tuesday.
The boy said no teacher was in the classroom when fellow students locked him in the fridge. He said they then pounded on the door with large chef's knives and threatened to kill him.
"They're real knives," he said. "I was thinking, 'What if they opened the door and they really wanted to kill me?'"
He added, "It was was pitch black, I just started freaking out."
After about 10 minutes, the boy said he called his mother. She in turn called the school. The boy was let out and three of the students were later arrested.
The boy missed several days of school after the ordeal and said that he can't sleep because he fears retaliation. He also said his doctor diagnosed him with post-traumatic stress disorder and that students and teachers have mocked him.
"There are faculty that will say to me, 'Stay frosty,'" he said. "They think it's a joke. It's not a joke."
The boy's mother told NBC 4 New York she was outraged that students had access to chef's knives without supervision. She also said the Department of Education initially tried to downplay the incident, claiming students didn't have weapons because the knives are tools.
"Children were in danger if children were running around with knives and no supervision," the boy's mother said. "There was imminent danger."
The DOE again maintained that there were no weapons involved on Tuesday, however.
"The safety and security of students and staff is our top priority. The school followed protocol in responding to an incident that was reported and the students involved were disciplined appropriately," the DOE said in a statement.