Teen dies in fight that involved knife outside East Haven school

Published: May. 23, 2023 at 11:19 PM EDT|Updated: May. 24, 2023 at 7:53 PM EDT
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EAST HAVEN, CT (WFSB) - A 15-year-old boy from North Branford has died following a knife assault at an elementary school in East Haven.

Police said they were called around 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday for a report of a fight that involved several people.

“The incident took place in a courtyard on Tuttle Elementary School grounds,” said East Haven police Capt. Joseph Murgo.

They determined that a juvenile was attacked with a knife during the fight. Town officials reported that he was stabbed in the chest.

The victim was treated at the scene and taken to Yale New Haven Hospital for further treatment. He died at the hospital.

Police identified the victim as Dustin Cecarelli.

“While details regarding this incident will be forthcoming, we want residents to know that all involved individuals in this altercation are accounted for and no threat to the public safety exists,” Murgo said.

Neighbors who live in the area told Channel 3 that the situation was nothing new. For weeks, they said a group of teens has been causing issues in the area. Other fights and disturbances were reported.

Folks said that the teens essentially established an intimidating presence in the neighborhood.

One neighbor told Channel 3 that police sent neighbors a text asking them to contact the department immediately if there is an issue.

Neighbors say the incident was still scary to witness.

“It was scary and chaotic and I felt really bad for them, the young ones, and anyone seeing what they had to see and experience it,” said East Haven resident Tabitha Torres.

Tabitha and her daughter Brielle were home when they heard the panic nearby.

“My mom yelled someone got stabbed. Immediately my heart dropped because my little brother’s there all the time, so I’m like, who got stabbed?” said Brielle.

Police said they’ve identified everyone involved in Tuesday’s fight and say charges are forthcoming.

They said there is no threat to the public safety, but there will be an increased police presence throughout the school district to discourage more incidents.

East Haven Mayor Joseph Carfora provided a statement on Wednesday morning.

Superintendent Scott Schoonmaker also released a statement.