NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Niagara Falls family is outraged after their son was attacked by two teens.
Adair Vails, 17, a senior at Niagara Falls High School says he was skateboarding in an area of Niagara Street, by Bloneva Bond Primary School, when he was jumped by two teens in masks. Adair can be seen being punched and kicked on the ground.
The attack was captured on video and has been posted on social media and the boy’s father, Roderick Vails, has a message for the community.
Vails is critical of the police response to the incident, saying it was too slow. Niagara Falls Police acknowledge that the response time for officers was 20 minutes from when the call was received to when officers were dispatched. The superintendent of Niagara Falls Police John Faso said the response time would have been faster if the incident was an assault in progress.
This attack happened on Tuesday afternoon, while students were on vacation. The Niagara Falls School District has made numerous safety upgrades for situations that arise on school property.
“I took him to the doctor’s, the doctor, felt very concerned he ordered immediate stats of x-rays on his face because his face was protruded out, his eye, cheek, his nose was humongous,” Vails said.
Adair is a standout member of the Niagara Falls track and field team and suffered cuts to his face and chest. The superintendent of Niagara Falls Schools, Mark Laurrie, said the two defendants will no longer attend Niagara Falls High and will be placed in remote learning. Laurrie says that Adair is a standout student-athlete at NFHS. Adair’s father hopes parents talk to their kids and explain to them that this conduct is unacceptable.
“The message to the parents, take ownership of what your kids do because if the shoe was on the other foot, you’ll be ranting and raving and want justice for your child, just like I want no parent should have to go through that,” Vail said.
The two teens have been charged with assault in the third degree and were issued appearance tickets.
Vails believes the charges against the two teens are too low.
“I think they’re very low, they’re being charged with a misdemeanor assault three, which they were given an appearance ticket, and they’re going to receive probation, I don’t agree with that, the impact that they did you kicked my son in the head five times, two of you,” Vails said.
Police say the charges in this case are appropriate based on the evidence in the case. It would be up to the Niagara County District Attorney’s Office to decide whether to upgrade charges.
Because of their ages, the defendants’ names aren’t being released.
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Jeff Preval is an award-winning anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2021. See more of his work here.