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Bryan Stamps Chronology: What Really Happened on January 18 at New Rochelle High School?

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Bryan Stamps Chronology: What Really Happened on January 18 at New Rochelle High School?

May 22, 2018 - 23:33
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NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- A four month investigation by Talk of the Sound has revealed a cascading series of security failures in the immediate aftermath of a violent assault-stabbing incident on January 18th at New Rochelle High School. There appears to have been a deliberate effort by school officials to cover up those failures in the hours after the incident, an effort which continues to this day at the highest level of the City School District of New Rochelle.

After being asked about these failures at a school board meeting on January 30th, New Rochelle Board of Education President Rachel Relkin issued a statement to Talk of the Sound which was not responsive to the question:

“The matter is still under active investigation. We anticipate the audit will recommend any needed changes to the safety plan and training for staff in following it.”

The issue is not the safety plan or staff training, it is administrative failures at the top and a “cover up” culture driven by BOE lawyer Jeffrey Kehl.

The School Safety Plan was developed by Vigilant Resources International at no small cost less than five years before the recent spate of school violence. The current board seems to have forgotten how with much fanfare, VRI was hired in 2013 to perform a security audit in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy. VRI Chairman and Former NYPD Commissioner Howard Safir presented the results of a months-long security audit at a public board meeting in 2013. VRI prepared the School Safety Plans which were vetted by the District Wide Security Committee and approved by the school board.

Talk of the Sound has copies of several of the School Safety Plans including the plan for New Rochelle High School. They are all basically the same in terms of language and protocols and contain no significant customization beyond the names and phone numbers of contacts at each school. The four protocols that apply in the assault-stabbing incident all say the same thing — “call 911” which begs the question, how many high-priced security consultants does Relkin need to know what even a four-year old knows to do in an emergency?

School faculty and staff know to call 911 but not one did on January 18th. It was not for lack of a plan or training. For years faculty and staff have been told not to call 911 in an emergency, directly contravening board policy.

Failures that day include:

  • Police officers and paramedics were not dispatched to the high school until a parent called police.
  • No school district employee ever called 911.
  • A student with a lacerated spleen and punctured lung was moved around within the building rather than requesting the dispatch of paramedics to the classroom.
  • Rather than call for an ambulance, the school called the victim’s grandmother and told her to come to the school, pick up her grandson and take him to an urgent care facility for treatment of multiple stab wounds.
  • The District Security Director was not immediately informed of the assault-stabbing.
  • There was no security guard on post at the exit used by the suspect to flee the scene.
  • The school was never put on lockdown as required under the School Safety Plan.
  • The school was not put on lockout until 40 minutes after the incident.
  • Immediately after the lockout announcement, a security guard repeatedly opened the school’s main doors to allow people to come and go.

Despite efforts by school officials to downplay the severity of the incident, Bryan Stamps, 15, stands charged with attempted murder for stabbing a 16-year old classmate twice in the torso. According to Deputy Commissioner Robert Gazzola, the stabbing victim suffered a punctured lung and a lacerated spleen. To this day the victim is home bound. More than four months after the attack, the victim has not returned to school. Despite this, the school district has maintained the position that the victim’s injuries were not serious.

The victim spent a week in Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx following major surgery and has, so far, missed four months of school. The suspect spent those four months on the run before he was apprehended by the FBI in Etowah County, Alabama about 90 miles southwest of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Stamps will be extradited later this week according to the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office. He will appear in Westchester County Court and is expected to be tried as an adult on an attempted murder charge and related charges.

The stabbing at the high school followed a fatal stabbing eight days earlier. In that incident, a running dispute between several New Rochelle High School students, that began at the McDonald’s restaurant near campus, ended with a knife wound to a lung and the heart at a Dunkin’ Donuts two blocks away.

Stamps himself was assaulted the day before he stabbed his classmate by a group of students at Gemelli’s pizzeria, a block from the Dunkin’ Donuts, near campus.

All of these incidents and many others resulted from the failure of school officials to enforce “Board Policy 5520: Closed Campus”.

Four students were indicted for charges related to the murder of Valerie Schwab. No students were charged in the assault at Gemelli’s pizzeria because Stamps refused to cooperate with police.

The victim initially told police he did not know why Stamps stabbed him. Police said they found no connection between the two incidents involving Stamps. Sources tell Talk of the Sound there was a connection, that the victim was friendly with the group of students that attacked Stamps although the stabbing victim was not part of the group that attacked Stamps at Gemelli’s pizzeria.

The School Safety Plan has four sections that apply to the incident which occurred on January 18th: Criminal Offenses (Suspected/Potential), Intruder-Dangerous Person in Area - Lockdown. Medical Emergency, Violent Behavior of a Student. All require an immediate 911 call.

  • Intruder-Dangerous Person in Area - Lockdown: “Call 911 immediately.  Provide as much information as possible about the threat to law enforcement.”
  • Criminal Offenses (Suspected/Potential): “911 should be called by any staff member witnessing an event that poses an imminent danger to students or staff.” 
  • Medical Emergency/Life-Threatening Injury or Illness: “Call 911”.
  • Violent Behavior of a Student: “911 will be called if there is an imminent danger to the student or others.”

Under the “Intruder-Dangerous Person in Area - Lockdown” protocol, after immediately calling 911 and providing as much information as possible about the threat to law enforcement, the next step is to to notify the Principal’s office which will “issue a plain language lockdown announcement over the PA system: ‘We are in a lockdown’.”

According to the School Safety Plan, upon declaration of a lockdown, teachers “pull in any students from hallways, lock doors, turn off lights and move students to a section of the classroom out of line-of-sight of the window in the door. Leave window shades to the outside up. Inform students of lockdown procedures including no use of cell phones or computers and remaining quiet. Take student attendance.”

“Staff and students outside at the time of the lockdown must not return to the building, but should immediately proceed to the designated “safe area” away from the school building.”

The building remains in lockdown “until law enforcement and principal determine that it is safe to resume school activities” at which point “police and school administrators will go to each classroom to open door  and issue the ‘all clear’ signal room-by-room (not over the PA system). Once all doors are opened, a general announcement will be made to allow students to leave the classrooms.”

None of this happened on January 18th.

Instead a made up protocol called “hold-in-place mode” was announced over the PA system at between 15 and 23 minutes into the incident. Security guards and faculty members told Talk of the Sound they did not recall ever hearing that term used before January 18th and were unclear as to what it meant.

At 8:59 a.m. a NRHS Text Alert was sent to all faculty and staff telling them there had been a fight and that there were no serious injuries.

After First Period ended at 9:03 a.m. confused students remained in their classroom with their equally confused teachers. By then, police and school security officers were reviewing surveillance video. Shortly after determining that Stamps had fled the building, an announcement was made over security radios that the school was in lockout. During lockout, no one is allowed in or out of the building.

The assault-stabbing incident began that day when Stamps entered the school at 8:26 a.m., more than 10 minutes late. After a few minutes, at 8:36 a.m., he asked to use the bathroom. On the way out of the room, Stamps stabbed his classmate then fled into the hallway, according to Commissioner Gazzola. The distance from Room 151 to the night school door is a short distance, less than 100 feet.

Inaccurate media accounts placed the time at “about 8:50 a.m.” which is near the time the police response began when a parent called police at 8:51 a.m.

Santiago Gomez, the Spanish teacher in Room 151, observed that the victim had been stabbed. He went into the hallway looking for a security guard. Christina Newman, the security guard, posted at the night school doors, responded to Room 151. Gomez asked Newman to take the victim to the nurse’s office on the second floor, a walk of about four minutes. 

One source says the victim was taken to the nurse’s office using a wheel chair which would require bringing the wheel chair from the nurse’s office and then returning with the victim, with both trips requiring the use of an elevator.

At the nurse’s office, present at various times during the incident were two or three nurses including head nurse Diane Vetrano, two or three security guards including security officer Paul Sarachelli as well as security guard Christina Newman who escorted the victim to the nurse’s office and security guard Rob Johnson who accompanied the victim to Jacobi Medical Center. Also present were two house principals, Daniel Gonzalez of House I and Shadia Alvarez of House IV. School District Medical Director Dr. Balchan, who happened to be in the building that day, was also in the nurse’s office. She took control of the scene in the immediate aftermath of the assault-stabbing.

Several people entered the nurse’s office and asked, upon arriving, what happened and were told the victim had been stabbed prompting further questions about whether an ambulance had been called. The nursing staff, apparently in deference to their boss, Dr. Balchan, conveyed Balchan’s assessment that the wounds were minor, the victim was not seriously injured and that the victim’s grandmother had been called and was coming to take her grandson to an urgent care facility for treatment.

Throughout the incident, according to witnesses, Balchan downplayed the seriousness of the injuries. She observe that the wounds were small, not too deep and there was not much external bleeding. 

The victim was agitated and said he was in shock. He struggled to explain what happened to him, what sort of weapon had been used and the name of his assailant. He eventually identified his assailant as Bryan Stamps at which point security staff began looking for Stamps throughout the building under a “Code 2 Alert” which indicates the student is believed to have a weapon. Whatever came before this moment, a Code 2 Alert following an assault-stabbing should trigger a lockdown. It never happened.

Why did no one call 911?

Gomez witnessed the attack. Newman responded to the scene in seconds. Neither the teacher nor security guard on scene at Room 151 called 911 to notify police of the incident or provide information about the suspect or to request paramedics be dispatched to the classroom. Sources tell Talk of the Sound this is because despite clearly stated protocols in the School Safety Plan, faculty and staff are not allowed to call 911 without administrative permission which is rarely, if ever, granted and that if faculty or staff call 911 without permission they are severely reprimanded.

Based on surveillance video, police eventually determined that Stamps fled out of Room 151 after the assault-stabbing, then down the hallway and out the “night school door”. The night school door leads outside under the “House IV” bridge. The security guard posted at the night school door had left her post to put away identify card swiping equipment, a daily task assigned to her, and was not present when Stamps ran through the door.

How serious is a ruptured spleen?

WebMD describes the spleen as “a delicate, fist-sized organ under your left rib cage near your stomach”. 

“A ruptured spleen is an emergency medical condition that occurs when the capsule-like covering of the spleen breaks open, pouring blood into your abdominal area...a large amount of internal bleeding can occur.”

If time allows, a ruptured spleen is commonly diagnosed by injecting “contrast” into a vein to determine the amount of bleeding from the spleen by performing a CT scan of the abdomen. 

“A CT scan with contrast may take awhile, and some people with spleen ruptures have died while waiting to have the test done.”

The nurse’s office at New Rochelle High School does not have Computed Tomography (CT) equipment so Dr. Barchan could not have diagnosed internal bleeding from a ruptured spleen or anywhere else in the victim’s body. The situation called for an emergency medical response to the classroom not a phone call to a grandmother.

Any of the four applicable School Safety Plan protocols require the same immediate action — “call 911”.  No “911 call” was ever made, according to New Rochelle Police Deputy Commissioner Robert Gazzola.

When Lieutenant Robert Wenzler, a police supervisor, did arrive on scene at about 9:00 a.m. he too asked about an ambulance and was told by the medical staff that the victim’s grandmother was on her way to the school to get the victim and take him to urgent care.

Several sources tell Talk of the Sound the Lieutenant Wenzler’s response was blunt, words to the effect of “Fuck that. I am in command. He’s going out in an ambulance.”

These sources believe the quick actions of Lt. Wenzler saved the victim’s life.

Fire Chief DiMeglio told Talk of the Sound that firefighters helped the paramedics place the victim on a gurney and “pack him up” in the nurse's office then helped paramedics as the victim was transferred to the ambulance. Once outside the building, the victim was stabilized for transport and then departed the high school at 9:13 a.m., based on photos and videos taken by Talk of the Sound at the scene. The victim was taken to the Trauma Unit at Jacobi Medical Center.

Contrary to Dr. Balchan’s assessment and the statements put out by school officials, the victim remained hospitalized in serious condition at Jacobi for a week and has yet to return to school due to his injuries.

There was a 15 minute gap from the stabbing at 8:36 a.m. until the police were notified at 8:51 a.m. NRPD Commissioner Gazzola said the gap ended at 8:51 a.m. because a parent — not anyone from the school district — called police to report there had been a stabbing at the high school. Police officers and paramedics were dispatched to the scene based on that parent’s call.

According to the police, School Security Director Bruce Daniele was not told of the stabbing for 15 minutes. Upon learning of the stabbing, Daniele immediately informed an NRPD youth officer of the stabbing who, in turn, notified NRPD radio dispatch. By then first responders were already on their way.

Bryan Stamps was well known to police and school security even before he stabbed a student two years earlier at Isaac E. Young Middle School. Stamps has a long history of getting in trouble both in and out of school, according to multiple school and law enforcement sources. He has a history of provoking both students and staff, especially security guards. At Isaac Young two guards, both retired police officers, were fired after responding aggressively to Stamps behavior. At the high school he is known to be insubordinate and disrespectful to security guards. He has a history of stealing and violent behavior.

After stabbing a classmate in eighth grade, Stamps was sentenced to two years probation and kept out of school, on home instruction, for 9th grade. He was reinstated at the high school for 10th grade in September 2017. He was still serving a two-year probation following the 2016 stabbing incident at the time of the January 18th assault-stabbing.

In the weeks before the stabbing on January 18th, Stamps offered police, probation and school administrators numerous grounds for violating him on his probation or expelling him from school or arresting him.

The day before the Valaree Schwab murder, on January 9th, a high school student filed a complaint with both the New Rochelle Police Department and New Rochelle High School alleging that Stamps committed a strong arm robbery on Webster Avenue, stealing a pair of Beats headphones from him.

Stamps was at Gemelli’s pizzeria on January 17th at 2:30 p.m as a group of over 100 students who had cut class and left the ostensibly “closed campus” to attend a hearing for Z’inah Brown in the Schwab murder (that 100 students walked off campus in the middle of the day without repercussions to attend a hearing at the City of New Rochelle Courthouse is another story for another day).  Likewise, Stamps was cutting class and had left campus before school was dismissed.

Police found a kitchen knife (a similar weapon was used in the murder of Valaree Schwab) on Stamps at Gemelli’s, a clear probation violation. That he was not far from campus, cutting class, during the school day, it appears likely that Stamps brought the knife to school and, further, suggests that Stamps made a habit of carrying a knife at the high school. He certainly had a knife when he entered the school the next day.

Put simply, given his history of weapons possession and violence, and multiple probation violations and Code of Conduct violations in the days leading up the assault-stabbing, there is no good reason Stamps should have been in school on January 18th.

About 30 minutes after the assault-stabbing on January 18th, a BOLO alert (“be on the lookout”) with a description of Stamps was broadcast to all police officers; a patrol car was dispatched to Stamps last known address on Sickles Avenue. All too late, due to the 15 minute delay.

The failure to immediately call for emergency response not only placed the life of the victim in danger but caused a large diversion of law enforcement resources. The 15 minute delay in notifying the police proved sufficient to allow Bryan Stamps to elude police, setting off a four-month nationwide manhunt which lasted until a week ago when the FBI apprehended Stamps at his grandfather’s home in Gadsden, Alabama.

“They did not follow protocol,” said one frustrated first responder familiar with the school’s response to the stabbing. “911 should have been called immediately with paramedics dispatched directly to the classroom and a description of the suspect provided to police”.

Video surveillance showed the suspect entered the high school through the embassy entrance at 8:26 a.m. and exited the building ten minutes later by exiting the building through the “night school door” at 8:37 a.m. Seven minutes earlier, at 8:19 a.m., Assistant Principal Joseph Starvaggi had sent an email to high school staff advising them of a violent incident the day before without mentioning Stamps. In the email, Starvaggi wrote that a student (Stamps) was assaulted by several other students at Gemelli’s pizzeria near the high school campus and that the student who initiated the altercation suffered a cut finger and broken arm. The email did not mention that Starvaggi had accompanied the student with the broken arm to the hospital in an ambulance which raises question why a broken arm merits an ambulance to the hospital with the Assistant Principal but 2 stab wounds in the torso merits only a call to grandma.

The call to police by the parent was received at 8:51 p.m. according to NRPD records. Police officers were dispatched immediately. Soon after that Daniele called the police. At 8:55 a.m., New Rochelle Police placed a call to the New Rochelle Fire Department. At 8:57 a.m., the New Rochelle Fire Department dispatched apparatus and an ambulance from Fire Station #3 at 756 North Avenue, located next door to Gemelli’s pizzeria. The police arrived on scene first.  At 8:59 a.m. firefighters and paramedics were on scene in front of the Embassy Entrance of the high school at 265 Clove Road. By 9:00 a.m. police officers, firefighters and paramedics were in the nurse’s office with the victim.

It is somewhere in this time period that New Rochelle High School by Assistant Principal Joseph Starvaggi made a PA announcement that the school was in “hold-in-place mode”. There is no such protocol in the School Safety Plan called “hold-in-place mode”. 

An email sent hours later outlined what became the official narrative of the stabbing incident which rocked the New Rochelle school community and reverberated through the media across the country and overseas. A nearly identical email was sent to the entire NRHS staff by Starvaggi

They are a fiction.

The first text alert to high school staff at 8:59 a.m. did not state what was already known by administrators — that a stabbing had occurred, that the suspects whereabouts were unknown and that a student had been seriously injured.

The text alert at 8:59 a.m. stated “there was a fight in a class and a student was injured, not seriously”, adding “we were trying to get one of the boys however he left the building.”

The emails at 12:00 p.m. and 12:14 p.m. state “immediately after the incident the school was put in a hold-in-place mode and the New Rochelle Police Department was notified.”

This statement is misleading on multiple levels. There is no protocol for “hold-in-place mode” and even if there was it was not announced immediately. The police were not immediately notified and even when they were notified the notification came from a parent not the school.

The emails continue, “the school moved to a lockout protocol after the student was seen on security video leaving the building.” Based on photos, videos and tweets published by Talk of the Sound, the lockout was announced to security staff somewhere between 9:12 a.m. and 9:26 a.m, more than 30 minutes after the incident began.

The emails then say “the lockout has been modified to tight control on access so that positively identified individuals with legitimate business can enter and exit.” There is no such protocol in the School Safety Plan.

There is no protocol for a ”modified lockout” or “tight control on access”.

A lockdown should have been called immediately. The decision not to go on lockdown was supposedly predicated on video surveillance showing Stamps had exited the building. Stamps was not identified on the video until about a half hour after the incident. The entire point of a lockdown is there is a person in the building who is a threat so all doors should be locked. That condition existed at 8:36 a.m.

It is worth noting that after the fatal stabbing of Valaree Schwab, Z’inah Brown re-entered the building.  Throughout the morning, school officials had no knowledge of where Stamps went after exiting the building as evidenced by the fact that he disappeared for four months. How would school officials know whether Stamps was truly gone or whether he may have re-entered the building? This question makes the decision by a security guard to ignore a declared lockout and open the Embassy Entrance doors even more troubling. Stamps could have gained re-entry any number of ways including through the front door.

The email continues, “the victim received immediate medical attention and was transported in stable condition to an area hospital”.

The victim did not receive “immediate medical attention” and was only transported to the hospital over the objections of Dr. Barchan.

Finally, the email says “please explain to your students that the school is taking every precaution to keep them safe.” 

When your response to the attempted murder of one of your students is to never call 911, to not request paramedics be dispatched to the classroom, to move the victim from one location in the building to another location several minutes away, to tell a stabbing victim’s grandmother to come get their grandson and get him emergency medical treatment on her own, to leave it to a parent to call the police 15 minutes after the incident, to never go into lockdown, to wait more than 30 minutes to go into lockout, to not follow board-approved safety plan protocols, to have security guards leave their posts and open doors during a lockout is the exact opposite of “taking every precaution to keep them safe.”

This does not even address why Stamps, assaulted the day before, known to have been in a possession of a knife the day before (and likely to have brought the knife into the high school) and with a known history of violence, was allowed to walk into school more than 10 minutes late and proceed directly to his First Period class without any sort of “pat down” or “welfare check” to assess him for weapons or, at least, assess his frame of mind. 

There were numerous other failures including not redirecting a busload of students returning from BOCES away from the school to a designated “safe area” as required under the School Safety Plan.

The communications from school officials to staff, students and parents (or the lack thereof), appears dedicated to one purpose, to present a false narrative to the public.

It remains unclear how and when the so-called “hold-in-place” order was communicated to staff and students. There are differing accounts of how the victim was transported to the nurse’s office.

Of the more then 20 people interviewed for this story, none of them mentioned the presence of New Rochelle High School Principal Reggie Richardson. So, we close by asking:

“Where was Reggie?”

 

 

BRYAN STAMPS STABBING TIMELINE

BEGIN EVENT

8:19 a.m. Assistant Principal Joseph Starvaggi sends an email to all New Rochelle High School staff regarding a violent incident the day before involving Bryan Stamps.

“Hello All,

I would like to share with you an incident  which occurred yesterday so that you are informed of the facts as we know them. At approximately 2:30 pm a fight occurred between two boys and possibly others at Gemelli’s pizzeria. The police arrived on the scene almost immediately and broke up the fight. The boy who instigated the fight cut his finger and broke his arm. There were no other reported injuries and no weapons used although there were objects thrown. The police are continuing to investigate the situation and the school will take swift action as appropriate.”

8:15 a.m. First Period classes begin.

8:26 a.m. Bryan Stamps enters New Rochelle High School through Embassy Entrance at 265 Clove Road. He is 10 minutes late but allowed to proceed to his First Period Spanish class in Room 151 under the “grace period” rule instituted by Principal Reggie Richardson.

8:35 a.m. A security guard leaves his post at the “night school” door to put away Student ID swiping equipment.

8:36 a.m. Having requested permission from his teacher to use the bathroom, Bryan Stamps walks towards the door. Along the way he (allegedly) stabs a classmate twice in the torso then runs out of the classroom into the hallway.

8:37 a.m. Bryan Stamps exits the building through the “night school” doors which lead outside, under the bridge leading to House IV.

8:37 a.m. The victim does not know he has been stabbed. He believes he has been punched. The teacher tells the student he was stabbed. The teacher tells the victim to pull up his shirt; stab wounds are evident. By then, security guards have responded to screams from Room 151. The student is escorted by security to the nurse’s office several minutes away.

8:39 a.m. (appx.) School District Medical Director Dr. Balchan, who happened to be in the building that day, takes control of the scene in the nurse’s office. Balchan countermands efforts to call for an ambulance and instead instructs staff to call the victim’s family to come and take the victim out of the school. 

8:44 a.m. (appx.) The grandmother is contacted and told there has been an incident and she should come to the school and pick up her grandson.

8:51 a.m. A parent calls the New Rochelle Police Department to report  a stabbing at the high school. NRPD dispatches police officers to the high school.

8:55 a.m. The New Rochelle Police Department calls New Rochelle Fire Department to dispatch apparatus and paramedics to New Rochelle High School.

8:57 a.m. New Rochelle Fire Department dispatches apparatus and ambulance to New Rochelle High School.

At an unspecified time but believed to be between 8:51 a.m. and 8:57 a.m., after the New Rochelle Police Department has dispatched police officers and after the New Rochelle Fire Department has dispatched apparatus and ambulance to New Rochelle High School, School District Security Director Bruce Daniele is told of the stabbing incident. He immediately telephones Youth Officer Detective Ray Andolina to advise him of an assault-stabbing incident at the high school. Andolina and Youth Officer Detective Terrance Fudge respond to the scene.

At no point does anyone call 911.

8:59 a.m. New Rochelle Police Department officers and New Rochelle Fire Department apparatus/ambulance arrive at New Rochelle High School.

8:59 a.m. A NRHS Text Alert is sent out to all New Rochelle High School employees:

“New Rochelle High: There was a fight in a class and a student was injured, not seriously. We were trying to get one of the boys however he left the building.”

By this time, the administration knew it was a stabbing not an altercation and the student was seriously injured.

8:59 a.m. First responders arrive at the nurse’s office. Dr. Balchan tells the police, firefighters and paramedics that the victim is being picked up their grandmother. Lieutenant Robert Wenzler says words to the effect of “Fuck that. I am in charge of this scene. He is going in an ambulance.” Firefighters assist paramedics in “packing up” the victim. The victim is taken to the ambulance to be prepared for transport.

9:10 am New Rochelle Fire Department apparatus released from scene.

9:11 a.m. Talk of the Sound arrives on scene. Visible in front of the Embassy Entrance at 265 Clove Road are two NRPD patrol cars, one NRPD supervisor SUV, one Empress SUV, and one Empress ambulance.

9:12 a.m. The Empress ambulance leaves the scene on route to Jacobi Medical Center followed by one NRPD patrol cars and one Empress SUV.

9:15 a.m. (appx.) NRPD BOLO ALERT for Bryan Stamps “Male/Black, 145 pounds, 5’ 7”, medium complexion. Ran out of school at 8:37 a.m.. Last seen wearing green hoodie, blue jeans, dark sneaker, suspect possibly armed with a knife, may be combative.” 

This dispatch identified the time stamp on the surveillance video: the stabbing occurred at 8:36 a.m. and Stamps runs out the “night school” door at 8:37 a.m.

9:26 a.m. @TalkoftheSound ALERT: “New Rochelle High School on lockout after another stabbing, but people going in/out of Embassy entrance.”

Assistant Principal Starvaggi announced a Lockout on the security radios between 9:13 a.m. and 9:26 a.m.

10:05 a.m. NRHS TEXT ALERT TO PARENTS: “There is currently a lockout in effect at NRHS.  A lock out is when there is an possible exterior threat and no one is permitted to enter or leave the building.  Students are safe and following their normal school schedule. We will lift the lockout once we have received clearance from NRPD.”

Despite this alert, dozens of people are coming and going from the building. Lockout still in effect in theory but not in practice.

10:13 a.m. New Rochelle Fire Department event closed, ambulance at Jacobi Medical Center goes back into service.

10:26 a.m. Iona College Alert “Police activity at NRHS. No reason to believe current threat to Iona, police looking for suspect. Campus Communique to follow.”

11:02 a.m. New Rochelle Police Department Statement:

“The New Rochelle Police Department is currently investigating a stabbing that occurred this morning at the New Rochelle High School.  At approximately 8:50am we received a call from the High School Security that a stabbing had occurred in the school, and the suspect, a 15 year old student was seen on video leaving the building shortly thereafter.  School staff has issued a “hold in place” order; any questions related to school should be directed to the Board of Education.”

“Officers and ambulance personnel were dispatched and located a 16 year old student who had suffered two puncture type wounds to his left torso.  He was conveyed to a local hospital where he is undergoing treatment.  The injuries do not appear to be life threatening at this time. This is an active investigation, so no further information is available at this time.  Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.”

“Anyone with information is asked to contact the New Rochelle Police Department at 654-2300.”

“For further information please contact Captain Gazzola 914-654-2253.

11:38 a.m.  A NRHS Text Alert is sent out to all New Rochelle High School employees:

“New Rochelle High: We will be sending out additional information shortly.”

11:39 AM Iona College Statement to Staff/Faculty on stabbing.

"Iona College stands with the City of New Rochelle, New Rochelle High School, first responders and the greater New Rochelle community in prayer, concern and action during this difficult time.

Earlier this morning there was a reported stabbing at New Rochelle High School. The College is in consistent and informed communication with the New Rochelle Police Department (NRPD). NRPD has shared there is no reason to believe there is a threat to the Iona College community. The alleged suspect is being sought by law enforcement.

Nonetheless and as a precautionary measure, Iona College is increasing its campus security officer presence on campus and in the immediate vicinity. As a result, all traffic is being routed though the main entrance of campus on North Avenue. The New Rochelle Police Department has also increased police patrols near the high school and immediate vicinity.

We recognize that recent events with New Rochelle High School students have caused concern for members of the Iona College community. There will be an open meeting at 2 p.m., in the McGrath Room in the LaPenta Student Union for any member of the Iona College community who may have questions or concerns.

All members of the campus community are encouraged to report any safety concerns to Iona Campus Safety at 914-633-2560

12:00 a.m. New Rochelle Board of Education Statement on Stabbing at NRHS to Press List

“Access to New Rochelle High School is being tightly controlled today following a stabbing incident in the school this morning.

Immediately after the incident, while one student involved was sought, the school was placed in a hold-in-place mode and the New Rochelle Police Department was notified. In a hold-in-place, students must remain in the class or room they are in, but classes continue.

The school moved to a lockout protocol after the student was seen on security video leaving the building. The lockout was later modified to tight controls on access so that positively identified individuals with legitimate business can enter and exit.

The victim received immediate medical attention and was transported in stable condition to an area hospital. We are working closely with the Police Department in investigating the incident.

Security at the school has been increased in the school since last week’s incident. Police are present at the school building today to assist with maintaining safety.”

There is no approved school safety plan for NRHS that calls for the above described response.

12:14 a.m.  A NRHS Email Alert is sent out to all New Rochelle High School employees:

“This is an update.

There was a stabbing incident in the school this morning.

Immediately after the incident, while one student involved was sought, the school was put in a hold-in-place mode and the New Rochelle Police Department was notified.

The school moved to a lockout protocol after the student was seen on security video leaving the building. The lockout has been modified to tight control on access so that positively identified individuals with legitimate business can enter and exit

The victim received immediate medical attention and was transported in stable condition to an area hospital. We are working closely with the Police Department in investigating the incident. Police are present in the building. Please explain to your students that the school is taking every precaution to keep them safe, but if they are concerned they can go to their house office where we have clinical staff available to work with them.

As teachers and staff we need to support our students and secure their safety. We thank you for your cooperation and understanding. We will be having a faculty meeting right after school today in the Whitney Young Auditorium.

Joseph Starvaggi 

Assistant Principal 

New Rochelle High School”

There is no approved school safety plan for NRHS that calls for the above described response.

3:02 PM Email of Joint Statement from New Rochelle Board Of Education President Rachel Relkin, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian Osborne, Mayor Noam Bramson and City Manager Chuck Strome:

Attached is a joint statement from Board of Education President Rachel Relkin, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian Osborne, Mayor Noam Bramson and City Manager Chuck Strome.

Mayor Bramson and City Manager Strome will hold a MEDIA AVAILABILITY  at 3:30 PM at City Hall, City Manager’s Conference Room.

A statement will follow shortly from the City School District regarding an upcoming public forum on Tuesday, January 23 at 7:00 PM in the Whitney M. Young Auditorium at New Rochelle High School.

”There is no higher priority than the safety of our children, and there is no asset of greater importance to New Rochelle than public confidence in our schools.

Within the past week, there have been three violent incidents involving New Rochelle High School students, two off school grounds, and the most recent in a classroom.  Each of these incidents in isolation would be a matter of grave concern.  Coming in such quick succession, they pose an urgent challenge that commands our full attention.”

“To address this challenge, we are taking the following immediate steps:

  • Uniformed Police officers have been assigned to the primary access points surrounding New Rochelle High School, and, in addition, a uniformed presence will be assigned to the school building itself, until further notice.
  • Police presence and visibility along North Avenue south of New Rochelle High School will be enhanced during hours when students tend to congregate or travel to and from school.  This presence will augment a long-standing practice of assigning resources to areas with a high concentration of student traffic.
  • Access to New Rochelle High School will be strictly controlled and enforced.”

“These incidents have also raised broader questions about security protocols and associated policies.  We are, therefore, initiating a top-to-bottom, high-level review of all practices, procedures, and policies that may be directly or indirectly related to student safety.  This review will build on and augment the ongoing coordination between City and School authorities.”

“While the City and School District have distinct roles and responsibilities, it is vital that we continue to work constructively in service to the community we serve together.”

“Notwithstanding the difficulty and seriousness of this moment, we remain entirely confident of our community’s positive, safe, and bright future – and determined to individually and collectively do our parts to restore the trust and peace of mind that all parents and residents deserve.” 

3:31 PM Joint statement from Board of Education President Rachel Relkin, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian Osborne, Mayor Noam Bramson and City Manager Chuck Strome.

Mayor Bramson and City Manager Strome will hold a MEDIA AVAILABILITY at 3:30 PM at City Hall, City Manager’s Conference Room.

A statement will follow shortly from the City School District regarding an upcoming public forum on Tuesday, January 23 at 7:00 PM in the Whitney M. Young Auditorium at New Rochelle High School.

3:36 PM Schools Superintendent Dr. Brian Osborne meeting now with faculty/staff in wake of another stabbing involving New Rochelle High School students.

END EVENT