Esaul Ortiz, Student Shot at Bronx High School, Sues City
Around noon on December 10, 2012, 19-year-old Esaul Ortiz was shot in front of Bronx Regional High School. The bullet hit the student in the arm and he survived. Two days later, police arrested then-17-year-old Larry Adeyanju, who is currently awaiting trial for charges including criminal weapons possession and assault with intent to cause serious injury.
Meanwhile, Ortiz seeks to hold the school responsible as well. Last week, he filed a complaint against the Department of Education and the city for negligence and "their failure to provide a reasonably safe environment."
Ortiz was "in the custody and control" of the education department when he "suffered a gunshot wound by another individual who was on school grounds with a loaded firearm during school hours," according to the complaint, filed on Thursday in State Supreme Court in the Bronx.
The lawsuit alleges that school officials ignored "previous instances of violence," therefore "permitting [the violence] to continue to occur." The officials, the suit continues, were "careless... in failing to put up safe guards... including but not limited to security guards, teacher supervision and/or metal detectors."
Bronx Regional is an alternative high school, offering a chance at a diploma for kids who had troubles at previous schools. It shares a building, in Morrisania, with a GED program and a charter school for kids who have spent time in foster care or in the juvenile justice system.
Ortiz was shot when he and others were chasing a teen who had just robbed a student, the Daily News reported at the time. The shooter fired near a back entrance to the school. Ortiz was the only one hit.
As DNAinfo reported:
The victim stumbled inside the school and made his way to the front of the school, where he collapsed, police said. He was taken to Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center where he was listed in stable condition, fire officials said.
"He was screaming that he thought he was going to die," [student Stanly Stepan] said, "There was a puddle of blood under his arm."
Next: the text of the complaint.
Send story tips to the author, Albert Samaha
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.