MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBS 2 / 1010 WINS/ WCBS 880) -- Nassau County Police said a local teen was savagely beaten on a Long Island school bus, in what's being called a bias attack.
Three other teens were arrested on Thursday. They're accused of stomping and kicking the boy, and making sexual slurs, because they perceived him to be gay, reports CBS 2's Jennifer McLogan.
Police said it was inside a school bus where anti-gay slurs, taunting and bullying began, and added the lawless behavior went on for weeks. Investigators said the alleged victim from BOCES career prep admitted he didn't have the courage to complain -- fearing retaliation, but when the taunts turned physical the victim finally came forward.
Three schoolmates have been charged with felony hate crime – 16-year-old Chase Morrison of Lakeview, 18-year-old David Spencer of North Valley Stream and 16-year-old Roy Wilson of Baldwin.
"Punches, backhand slaps and kicks, the victim retreated to the back of the bus where the defendants followed and continued with the assault," Nassau County Police Det. Lt. John McEwan said.
The trio allegedly stomped on the victim's arms, legs, stomach and thigh, while making disparaging remarks about his sexual orientation.
Nassau's police chief said such unacceptable behavior is the centerpiece of the county's anti-hate campaign in the schools.
While the suspects pleaded not guilty and were held on bail, neighbors addressed the issue, saying parents have to get involved.
"How was your day today? What happened to you today on your way to school? Ask the question," said Lakeview resident Jeanette Robinson said.
Police met with the female driver and matron who were aboard during the incidents. Thomas McEnany is manager of First Student Bus.
"It is still under investigation. We are taking everything seriously," McEnany said.
Experts said the responsibility needs to be shared.
"Unfortunately, buses and locker rooms and hallways and playgrounds are fertile fields for bullying," said Alane Fagin of Nassau County Child Abuse Prevention Services.
The bus driver and matron are cooperating, being questioned by their supervisors and police, who said it is their duty to immediately report any taunting or bullying on the bus.
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