Teen assault violence in Utica; police say problem is not new

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UTICA–Two recent assault cases involving teenage aggressors begs the question: is there a new-found problem centered around teen violence?

Utica Police Lieutenant Bryan Coromato says there is cause for concern, but teen-involved issues are not new.

“There is violence among the teenage age group in our city, and it’s the concern that when it happens… we have to look into see why this is occurring,” Coromato said.

Early October, police say a male teen walked into Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital with a gun shot wound to the arm. Two teens were charged with assault after the incident in Cornhill.

Weeks prior, a string of assaults occurred in West Utica involving teenagers.

One 19-year-old and a 17-year old allegedly assaulted two adult men, and a 78-year-old woman.

Coromato said existing police presence inside Utica schools aids investigations of teen violence on and off campus.

“A lot of our officers that are in the school are able to provide a lot of information because they may have insight on what’s going on, because they hear what’s going on in the school,” Coromato said.

Utica City School District Appeals Administrator, and former school counselor, Michele LaGase said in an email:

“The district is equally concerned that violence between teens, in home neighborhoods, may trickle into social interactions of teens at school.”

Michele LaGase, Utica City School District Appeals Administrator

LaGase noted when issues arise on or off campus, district support personnel work to resolve conflict and prevent problems from impacting school learning.

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