Partly Cloudy,81°
Monday, August 31, 2015

Brawl breaks out at JFK’s last graduation

By Maya Rajamani
Posted
Marisol Díaz/The Riverdale Press
A brawl broke out after a student was assaulted at the end of John F. Kennedy High School's graduation on Thursday evening. In this image, two woman are fighting while others try to stop the altercation.
Marisol Díaz/The Riverdale Press
Police arrested Robert Holmes, 46, and charged him with assault for his alleged role in the fight.
Photo
1
2

Chaos broke out at the end of John F. Kennedy High School’s (JFK) graduation ceremony Thursday night when one of the new graduates suffered an attack allegedly involving two other students and one of their parents, who was arrested. 

Marylyn Cruz, 18, said as students left Manhattan College’s Smith Auditorium after receiving their diplomas, two of her classmates approached her, threatened her and began to hit her. The evening marked the last graduation ceremony for JFK, which closes after this school year.

Witnesses said that soon after, one of the alleged assailant’s fathers joined in the fight, trying to choke Ms. Cruz. Meanwhile, parents sought to separate the victim from her attackers and fistfights broke out between other attendees at the ceremony.

Police confirmed that they arrested the father, 46-year-old Robert Holmes, and charged him with assault.

Police added they did not arrest the two students who initiated the attack on Ms. Cruz. Ms. Cruz’s mother, Yessenia Cruz, said her family would press charges over the incident.

“It’s a mess,” said Yessenia Cruz, 35. “I can’t even believe that this happened. The parents were out of control.”

The attack left her daughter with a five-inch scratch extending from her collarbone down to her chest.

“I feel upset. It burns,” Marylyn Cruz said of the scratch. “It’s crazy because they both charged at me as I was coming out."

A JFK administrator pulled Marylyn Cruz out of the brawl and led her to a bench away from the altercation, but the assailants pursued her.

Next Page

Comments

21 comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment
CelticWoman

How unbelievably ghetto. Add in the age of some of the parents...seriously, 35 years old with an 18 year old?

Friday, June 27, 2014 | Report this
EllenK

The 46 year old father tried to choke Ms. Cruz? Unbelievable!

Friday, June 27, 2014 | Report this
Knight4life

@Hhudsonpky it doesn't matter where the school is it can happen anywhere that is just a representation of that person and the family not of JFK . @ celtic woman yes shes 35 with an 18yr old!! But her 18yr old graduated pay attention to the issue there was a fight a graduation the last one for JFK. nobody cares about the mothers age or the age of the child but ignorant ppl just like the ones who were dumb enough to fight at a graduation.

Friday, June 27, 2014 | Report this
Schmagagy

@knight4life. I think you retorts are right on the money, thanks for saying what I was thinking. That this happened is appaling, ruining an important event in the lives of these kids. What I find equally distasteful are the comments from CelticWoman and hhudsonpky. To believe that because you are separated by a hill and this happened "not within Riverdale" is snobbery at its worst. I grew up in the area 'up the hill'. Perhaps these folks should get out some old city maps. They would find that, in fact, they really don't reside in Riverdale and are historically more part of the neighborhood which they are holding in such disdain.

My congratulations to Yessenia Cruz (age 35) and her daughter for their accomplishment. These days it is nice to see that some parents are doing the job of parenting and helping their children succeed. Cheers !!

Friday, June 27, 2014 | Report this
desiree

these kids are all out of control. but I will tell you thing anyone hits my kid in front of me be prepared for an ass whipping I will put a punk to sleep!

Friday, June 27, 2014 | Report this
DanielL

First and foremost, congratulations to the grads and their achievement. Beyond all the bad press, and no doubt in spite of it, you hung in there and achieved a laudable goal. Never be ashamed to say where you earned your diploma. It is a far greater achievement to accomplish what you have against the odds. Be proud of it always.

As for the negative comments based on, at the very least the ignorance of those making them, take note of the utter lack of intellectual perspective but the childish emotionality that spurred them. Ignore crass individuals and remember that empty barrels make the most disagreeable noises.

Knight4life and Schmagagy's comments are on the money. You have achieved a great thing and given a great respect to those that have hoped and prayed for your success.I hope you keep pressing on to even higher accomplishments.

As a society we desperately need less empty barrels and more intellectually awake and alert winners like you.

Friday, June 27, 2014 | Report this
lilliroma

Love the story. Esp. amunsed by the posters who think "this could happen anywhere." Yes, anywhere were certain kinds of people are located. Manhattan College invites this group onto its campus and this is what happens. A few years ago the graduation ceremoney of a different school was hosted by Fordham on its Rose Hill campus. Several burglaries from campus buildings were reported to have occurred on that day.

Also, it is a sad comment on society that the graduation from high school is percieved as an impressive achievement. Considering the educational requirements needed to graduate from a NYC high school, my four-year-old daughter should be given a diploma.

But hey, to some people, it is all very normal.

Saturday, June 28, 2014 | Report this
RebeccaCalix

I find it interesting there are some such as `Schmagagy' who are defending these young adults/kids and their parents. The closing of JFK's doors have been in the works for years and letters written by many of us in the Marble Hill community (this includes Jacobus and Adrian Avenue) when would the ax finally fall. It was so bad we would NOT dare allow our children outside until they were gone because they were always fighting literally right in front of our homes sometimes, and do not even dream of driving in our area during this time either. A majority of these kids are/were not even from our community. I don't know what zoo they came from but good riddance to them and JFK.

Sunday, June 29, 2014 | Report this
Knight4life

First off lilliroma

your 4 yr old could not graduate from high school on todays standard because they just changed the curriculum to common core and when your child gets to the upper grades then youll see how smart your CHILD is. your blinded by race and color and yes violence can happen anywhere with any race. White african americans asians hispanics. I dont know if you know but those are some of the ethnic groups in kennedy. As an alumni who was on the football team. who graduated from kennedy with a regents diploma and has a bachelors and now about to get my masters. I agree with you 100% graduating from high school is not a big accomplishment when you have doubters like you rooting against them and living in neighborhoods where your set up for failure. Surrounded by crime and drugs . Its a platform to do bigger things in life.So dont take their Sunshine and Glory from them . What have you accomplished in life that makes you so great that you can try to down talk teenagers on a "website"? And as for RebeccaCalix marble hill is not a model neighborhood either so don't go smelling your self the school was phased out because of administration and some kids from marble hill go their so they're apart of the violence to. So stop it with the "It was so bad we would NOT dare allow our children outside until they were gone because they were always fighting literally right in front of our homes sometimes, and do not even dream of driving in our area during this time either." Its always commotion when you let high school kids out anywhere in the united states. So for anyone of you people to say that certain people or ethnic groups mainly blacks and hispanics are out of control is wrong. Whites have just as many problems as any of them their problems just aren't making the news. Just like you take pride in your "unblemished neighborhoods" and trying to belittle Teenagers and their accomplishments instead of looking the bigger picture. I take PRIDE IN MY SCHOOL because i know the situation doesn't represent the school but it shows that those individuals showed no self control at that time.

JFK CLASS OF 2006 K-SQUAD

Sunday, June 29, 2014 | Report this
RebeccaCalix

Mr. KnightforLIFE graduate. Wonderful you actually went so far as to finish high school and graduated from college? Really? Where? Monroe? BMCC? As your grammer and sentence structure is as poor as the quality that began attending JFK in the last 20 somewhat years. Graduated with your regents diploma? Guess what? It is a requirement you take the regents and graduate with such or else no cap and gown. As for the CSE exams... I agree what the city is expecting of the youth today is preposterous! (Need a dictionary for that word?). Do NOT speak to me of the Marble Hill community and JFK. I attended and graduated from JFK when you were probably in your mother's womb (number 5?). What happened to our community and JFK did not begin to happen until the whole "No Child Left Behind Act" and other political nonsense. I suggest you get your money back (unless we, the tax payer, paid for it and pay US back. Your writing skills obviously prove you did not receive a scho

Monday, June 30, 2014 | Report this
RebeccaCalix

scholarship. Return to school Knightforlife. Your writing skills and debate skills are non-existent. When you came to M.H., and you are definitely not from here you probably saw for the first time in your life "So this is what it's like to live above the poverty level!"

Monday, June 30, 2014 | Report this
RebeccaCalix

but I would bet Knightforlife you hung out in the corner with the rest of them. Wonder who will get shot this summer? You guys came up our way twice fighting and we made sure you never came up our way again in our part of M.H., and we are waiting to call the cops again :-)

Monday, June 30, 2014 | Report this
lilliroma

Dear RC- Although I have sympathy for the noxious effect of JFK on the Marble Hill community, I do not agree with ad hominem attacks, esp. against an individual whom you do not know. Why resort to such tactics when the point that has been made is valid? One demeans oneself in acting in such a way. Not every student that has passed through the doors of JFK is a sociopath. The quality of public schools for the most part is a reflection of those who are assoicated with them, primarily students and their families. The quality of leadership is also a decisive factor, but less so than the committment to education and the respect for academic success that students and their families must demonstrate.

Monday, June 30, 2014 | Report this
Knight4life

RebeccaCalix first off ive always lived above the poverty level. My grandfather lived on kappock st when you were swimming in your dads testicles ( need an anatomy lesson). I see that your still missing the point of what i'm saying so you try to bring race into the issue so if thats what you were taught. we see how poor your education and morals are. So your ignorance is not bliss. If you judge richness on money and possessions then im wealthy my family is wealthy i can show you my own portfolio i have with Merrill Lynch. But iim not shallow like you, see i can can get belligerent and throw money around but i dont need to doesnt make me happy to. Belittle people i like to encourage and enlighten. I dont argue with fools im just checking you on your bs and racist comments.

Monday, June 30, 2014 | Report this
Knight4life

The quality of your life depends on your thoughts if you look deep down you already know the truth!!!!

Monday, June 30, 2014 | Report this
kilgara

This type of behavior is so commonplace in todays' society.It would have been unheard of not that long ago. Something has gone radically wrong. We must pray for a return to civility.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014 | Report this
DubbaBrina

As a former teacher at Kennedy, this report broke my heart. The City and State ruined a comprehensive high school in the fifteen years I taught there.The last few years under a diabolical principal were a horror. We all prayed for the remaining kids and teachers. And now this, the final legacy of a school run by fools.

We tried so hard to bring dignity to graduation, which had become too rowdy because of the loud, happy, unsophisticated crowd. Our efforts for a dignified procession calmed the crowds for years.

Unchecked, culture will out. So sad. This, the final note on Kennedy H.S.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014 | Report this
Dawnofftime

fd

Friday, July 4, 2014 | Report this
Dawnofftime

When I saw these young people in caps and gowns, larking about on the street outside Manhattan College, I wondered. There are few blacks on campus, perhaps a few basketball players. Then I realized their high school had rented the college auditorium to host its graduation. OK, I went on my way. Then I saw this story in the paper and nodded to myself, saying, “Once again this race has disgraced itself.” Don’t they know the entire world is looking at them and saying, “Well, what would you expect?” Don’t they realize that their savage manner—not just this small incident, but how it’s realized in the macro horrors of Detroit, Newark, Trenton, Atlanta, Philly, Baltimore, Cleveland, and on and on—define and brand them? Don’t talk to me about “up the hill” or “down the hill.” This isn’t snobbery. This is the difference between a civilized people and brutes. To my friends “down the hill,” I would only say this: Look at yourself! See what everyone in the world sees! Feel, at long last, ashamed of yourself. And do something about it. If you are able.

Friday, July 4, 2014 | Report this
Dawnofftime

... and if anyone wants to say these are racist comments, then I proudly say, "Yes, they are racist comments." At last, people are standing up and saying, "We've had enough."

Friday, July 4, 2014 | Report this
ChoneCat

I'm seriously grossed out by some of these comments. I think we need an investigative piece on how classism and racism are alive and well in Riverdale!

Sunday, July 13, 2014 | Report this
Terms of Use | Advertising | Contact Us             © 2015 Richner Communications, Inc. | Powered By: Creative Circle Advertising Solutions, Inc.