A school bus driver was arrested on Wednesday for using eight teenagers to attack a 15-year-old boy, said police director Jerry Speziale.
Police said the bus driver, Gilberto Lorenzo, 43, of Palisades Park used the eight boys from Great Falls Academy, an alternative school, to attack the boy on Totowa and Preakness Avenues on Dec. 5, 2016.
Lorenzo has been charged with eight counts of child endangerment, eight counts of using a minor to commit a criminal act, 1 count of aggravated assault, 1 count of conspiracy, and several weapons possession charges, said police.
Police charged the eight boys, whose ages are between 16 and 17, for participating in the assault. The eight teens, wearing masks to hide their identities and wielding metal sticks, crow bars, and broomsticks, were dropped off at the location by the bus driver, who transported them to and from school each day.
After the assault, the bus driver picked up the teenagers on the next block. Lieutenant Jaime Navarro said the boys charged are from the Great Falls Academy. He said he could not release the victim’s school name to protect the boy’s identity.
Detective Cindy Carrera investigated the incident after receiving information a 15-year-old boy received medical treatment at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center for a “vicious attack” by a group of juveniles.
She determined the eight boys and the bus driver conspired to attack as part of a revenge plot against another group of juveniles who threw objects at the bus in the area few days earlier.
Carrera determined the boy the group attacked had nothing to do with the attack on the bus.
Lorenzo was processed and transferred to the Passaic County Jail while the teenagers are being held at the Essex County Juvenile Detention Center in Newark.
Police ask anyone with information to contact detective Carrera at (973) 321-1126.