Abel Cedeno (Facebook)
A gay New York City teenager who stabbed another student to death in the classroom says he was bullied until he could take no more.
Abel Cedeno, 18, is accused of stabbing Matthew McCree, 15, and Ariane Laboy, 16, at the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation last month, leading to McCree’s death.
Cedeno, who claims to have been bullied for years, bought a knife to protect himself because, he said, the bullies often brought weapons of their own to school.
He alleges that on the day of the incident not only did his abusers thrown pencils and pens at him in class but that he was also punched by McCree, whom he claims had gang connections.
“I thought that I was going to die,” Cedeno told Gay City News about the alleged attack.
“I took out my knife and showed everyone. [McCree] came at me. He hit my face twice. The second time I snapped. All the years of bullying, and I couldn’t control my body and started to defend myself. The other boy, Laboy, hit me as well in the face.”
After the stabbing, he walked out of the classroom, handed the knife to a counsellor and went to the assistant principal’s office to wait for the police to arrive.
Cedeno’s family insisted that they had complained to the school about the ongoing anti-gay abuse he endured and that nothing was done.
Cedeno’s sister said: “They were telling him to ‘suck it up’ — and he fell into a depression. He would come home from school and go straight to bed.”
On Tuesday, a grand jury reduced the murder charge against Cedeno to manslaughter. He was granted $500,000 bail, which his supporters are trying to raise.
Cedeno’s defence team say they are concerned that witnesses to the incident may be afraid to testify due to fear of being targeted by gangs allegedly connected to the stabbing victims.
McCree’s grieving mother and family have denied that he was a bully, a member of a gang or that he previously had any problems with Cedeno. All parties, however, seem to acknowledge that the school system failed in preventing the tragedy.