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Principal probes attack

November 12, 1997

Principal probes attack

By RICHARD F. BELISLE

Staff Writer, Waynesboro

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - After his own investigation of a recent attack on a student, the principal of Waynesboro Area Senior High School said he has concluded that only one of five suspects was involved in the beating.

"There was some name-calling back and forth by the others, but nothing physical happened," said Larry Bricker. He said he tended to believe witnesses who had no interest in any of the parties involved, who said the other four, while they had words with the victim, had not touched him.

Despite Bricker's findings, Borough Police Chief Glenn Phenicie said the investigation will continue.

"We'll be talking to the people he said he talked to, but that doesn't mean there won't be more arrests," Phenicie said.

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On Oct. 31, student Mark Travitz was walking home from the school along Second Street near the intersection with Clayton Avenue when he was beaten up, according to police. When the ambulance crew came, he was lying on Second Street surrounded by some of his classmates.

Borough Patrolman Michael Bock, the investigating officer, started talking to the youngsters who were standing around. Meanwhile, another officer, prompted by other student witnesses, rounded up three youths who were standing farther up Second Street and brought them back to a police cruiser. He put them in the back seat.

Investigators continued to question the three they picked up, plus other students.

Travitz was treated and released from the hospital.

On Nov. 4, police went to the high school and arrested a 15-year-old student they said was the ringleader. He was charged with aggravated assault and conspiracy to commit assault for the attack on Travitz.

The youth is still being held in a juvenile facility in Harrisburg, Phenicie said.

As recently as late last week, Phenicie said four other students, including three juveniles and one who was 18, remained suspects in the attack.

A police report filed on the day of the incident said a charge of conspiracy to commit aggravated assault was pending against two suspects, one 18, the other 14. Also, the report said, a charge of disorderly conduct was pending against a 17-year-old suspect.

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