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Family reacts to Reading HS student being robbed at knife point

Published On: May 06 2013 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: May 07 2013 10:33:25 AM CDT

Family reacts to student being robbed at knife point

READING, Pa. -

The family of a student who was held up at knife-point inside Reading High School is demanding justice.

"I'm not happy, and he shouldn't be going through the stuff that he's going through," said Javier Gonzalez, father of the student.

Police arrested Nino Small, 15; Tyler Tenney, 16; and Benessen Debooth, 16. All are facing charges as adults, officials said.

The three teens allegedly pulled the victim into an empty classroom at Reading High School around 11:45 a.m. on March 6 and demanded $50 at knife-point.

After the victim reported the incident, authorities said he was robbed again at knife-point in an alley near Birch and Green streets around 3:30 p.m. on Apr. 25.

The victim was told, "This is what you get for ratting on us; the next time it will be worse," according to court documents.

The suspects stole the victim's iPhone, $3.00, and his house keys, police said.

Gonzalez said he has taken precautions to keep his son safe.

"The last couple of days I've been going to school to pick him up from school every day because I'm afraid something is going to happen," Gonzalez said.

"I'm appalled that such a thing occurred," said Pierre Cooper, president, Reading School Board, who plans to launch a separate investigation into the matter.

Cooper said he learned about the incident through 69 News' reporting of the story. He said he will be looking into why board members were not directly informed of the first crime inside Reading High.

"Bullying, intimidation, will not and cannot be tolerated by any school anywhere in the country," said Cooper, "and most certainly, we will not tolerate these actions by students upon another student in the Reading School District."

Cooper added he is willing to take whatever measures necessary to make sure all the students in the district are safe.

Meanwhile, Gonzalez said he just wants his son to be left alone.

"I just hope it's over and I don't have to go through this no more," said Gonzalez.

At last check, Small was behind bars on $50,000 bail. Tenney was also being held on $50,000 bail, and Debooth is behind bars on $250,000 bail, officials said.