North Tonawanda community honors two high school students for stopping an attack on a teen girl

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CITY OF NORTH TONAWANDA N.Y. (WIVB) – Two North Tonawanda high school students are being honored for stepping in when a young girl was being attacked.

Both Simon Griskonis and Anthony Swan say they never expected any type of recognition or even wanted it. They say they were just doing the right thing. However, North Tonawanda City officials say it’s because of their humble attitude that makes them deserve it.

“When you do something that you would expect others to do, you don’t expect any recognition,” Anthony Swan said.

On July 1st it was only Swan and his classmate, Simon Griskonis who broke up an attack on a young teen. The two noticed a teenage girl was being assaulted by other teens on a football field. They say they also noticed people were on their phones instead of helping end the attack.

“It was just natural instinct,” Swan said. “We just did what any other human should’ve done.”

The community wants to thank them, and on Monday city officials handed them several certificates to honor their actions.

“It is not every day that we have somebody who goes to the assistance to help somebody else. It’s easier to just walk away and pretend it’s not happening,” said City of North Tonawanda Police Chief Tom Krantz. “For these two young men that wasn’t the case.”

“They did the right thing when the time came,” said Niagara County District Attorney Caroline Wojtaszek. “Everyday in the district attorney’s office, along with members of law enforcement, we read horrible things and this was as horrible as they come, but on the flip side of that we see the best in humanity as well.”

City Mayor Art Pappas says he hopes other students learn from Swan and Griskonis.

“The more you see the positives I think it bring out more postive and when people support each other and when they care about each other I think that spreads,” he said. “I think that’s what’s needed.”

Swan and Griskonis credit their quick think to the skills they’ve learned while on the high school wrestling team.

The victim’s family also thanked them for helping their daughter. Police say the three girls seen attacking the victim will be charged in family court.

Sarah Minkewicz is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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