Schenectady County

Youths accused of robbing Niskayuna High student

Two youths were arrested Thursday, accused of robbing a Niskayuna High School student at knifepoint

Two youths were arrested Thursday, accused of robbing a Niskayuna High School student at knifepoint of prescription medication. The incident reportedly happened just before the start of classes on Wednesday.

Superintendent Susan Kay Salvaggio said school officials had received some reports of drug activity taking place in the woods between the high school’s Nott Street East entrance and the Niskayuna Town Hall — known to students as “The Foxhole.”

Later that morning, witnesses told school officials that a student was threatened with a knife, according to Salvaggio.

The victim and one of the suspects are Niskayuna High School students, while the other suspect goes to a school in the city of Schenectady, according to police. Salvaggio said she believed the student who held the knife was from Niskayuna. She did not know if the victim was targeted or if he knew his attackers.

“It’s very rare that a child would have a knife at Niskayuna and threaten another student with it,” she said.

No one was injured, police said.

Both suspects were charged with two felonies of first-degree robbery and fourth-degree grand larceny. Both were arraigned in Niskayuna Town Justice Court by Judge Stephen Swinton Jr. and sent to a juvenile facility.

Niskayuna Police Detective Sgt. Dan McManus said the case would be referred to the Schenectady County District Attorney’s Office, who would decide how to prosecute from there. The juveniles are under the age of 16, so police are not releasing their names.

“In the eyes of the law, they are still juveniles, which gives them more privacy,” McManus said.

Salvaggio said the students arrested would also face disciplinary sanctions, which could include suspension for up to a year from school. “A knife on school property would be completely unacceptable,” she said.

Also, the victim in the case could also be punished because possessing prescription medication while at school is a violation of the district’s code of conduct.

School officials have no reason to believe that Thursday’s incident is in any way connected to the threatening YouTube videos that were sent to three students last month.

McManus said he was not aware of any new developments in the videos investigation. They have no suspect.

Thursday’s arrest came on the same evening the district had scheduled a forum on drugs, alcohol and cyber bullying later at the high school. Salvaggio said before the event that she hoped the end result would be to form a committee to discuss the next steps. She reiterated that safety is her top priority.

“We want a safe drug-free, weapon-free environment at the school,” she said. “We’re not going to stop being vigilant.”

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