The NYPD says four teenagers have been stabbed on a street in midtown after a fight between two students outside a public school escalated into a brawl involving a number of teens.
The stabbings stemmed from a fight between two high school students at P.S. 35 on West 52nd Street, near Eighth Avenue, police said at a news conference Wednesday.
The two 16-year-old students had apparently gotten into a fistfight last Thursday and were suspended, police said. When they returned to school Wednesday, the fight resumed in front of the school, with others jumping in.
Neighbor Sherri Hodes said she went out to walk her dog when she saw a large group of at least six young people fighting and yelling, starting with fisticuffs and punching, before the stabbing.
"One guy was punching another guy, and the other guy wasn't really punching back. He got him on the ground, and he was punching him and punching him," Hodes said. "They were screaming, and people were running. It was so fast and so much was happening. It was crazy."
Hodes said she often sees fights among students at the school.
"They fight all the time. I mean, that's what kids do. That's what teenagers do," she said.
Dozens of police officers responded to the fight, officials said.
The victims are a 16-year-old boy with a stab wound to the stomach, a 17-year-old boy with a slash on his ear, a 15-year-old with stab wounds to his left and right side, and an 18-year-old with a wound on his arm, police said. They were all taken to Cornell Medical Center and they're expected to live. The 15-year-old was in surgery Wednesday afternoon.
Police arrested a 16-year-old student at the high school. He is charged with attempted murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon, according to the NYPD.
They recovered a knife in a backpack from the scene.
The school, Public School 35, has 306 students from first to 12th grades and includes special education.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Education said in a statement that "the safety of students and staff is our top priority, and individuals involved were transported to the hospital and are being treated."
She added that the DOE is working with the NYPD to investigate the stabbing.