A brutal attack on an eighth-grade New Jersey honor student has left the young teen recovering in the hospital, shocking students and outraging administrators at his suburban middle school, WCBSTV.com reported.
Police said up to eleven students at Janis Dismus Middle School in Englewood beat up 13-year-old David Muneton, leaving him severely injured, the Web site reported.
Muneton has been in the hospital since he was attacked Friday. He has undergone facial reconstructive surgery to mend broken bones and may lose his sight.
"It's so hard ... I'm his best friend," said fellow student Denise Melendez, according to WCBSTV.com.
Investigators said the boys beat up Muneton to get back at him for accidentally hitting a girl with a basketball. The girl allegedly pointed out Muneton to the group of boys, saying “he’s the one.” They jumped him when he was walking home from school Friday, WCBSTV.com reported.
"We do know that after the girl made the comment one of the people, the boys, who was with him immediately punched him," said Superintendent Richard Segall.
"He really didn't deserve to get beat up like that because he really didn't do anything and it wasn't intentional that he hit her with a ball," said student Michael Bailey.
Muneton is recovering at Englewood Hospital.
"He is a wonderful young man, actually one of our students who made the honor roll this quarter," said Assistant Principal Daniella Bailey.
Seven students have been arrested and charged with aggravated assault. The youngest charged is 12 years old. Four more teenagers are likely to be charged, the Web site reported.