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14-Year-Old Slashed During Gang Fight May be 'Permanently Disfigured': NYPD

By Emily Frost | November 18, 2016 8:31am | Updated on November 23, 2016 11:49am
 Police said the two gangs from the NYCHA developments meet up to fight.
Police said the two gangs from the NYCHA developments meet up to fight.
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DNAinfo/Emily Frost

UPDATE: The original version of this story stated that the victim needed 300 stitches, when in fact medical staff only indicated to police he may require that many stitches. 

UPPER WEST SIDE — A 14-year-old boy will likely be "permanently disfigured" after being repeatedly slashed with a knife during a gang fight Saturday, police said. 

The fight, which broke out around 4:30 p.m. at West 93rd Street and Columbus Avenue, involved rival gangs from local NYCHA developments Wise Towers and the Frederick Douglass Houses, said Capt. Asif Iqbal, executive officer of the 24th Precinct, at a public meeting on Nov. 16.

The teen victim, who hails from The Bronx but was in the area to visit his grandmother, met up with a individuals involved in the fight at West 93rd Street instead of going to her house, the officer said.

The two gangs had arranged to meet at that intersection to fight, police said.

During the fight, the teen was slashed five times on his face by another teen with a knife and will likely be "permanently disfigured," Iqbal said. Medical staff said he would likely need more than 300 stitches, the officer said following the meeting. It was not clear if the victim was affiliated with either gang.

Police have identified the assailant, but haven't yet made an arrest. The slashed teen was the only victim in that fight, he said.

The two gangs use social media to arrange and meet up for fights, which can involve knives and even broomsticks as weapons, he said.

Residents should be on the lookout for rowdy groups of between five and 20 teens and call 911 if they see them, Iqbal said. 

"They’re loud and obnoxious. They’re making it known that they’re up to something," he said of the groups.

In addition to the West 90s, they also tend to meet near Booker T. Washington Middle School on West 107th Street near Columbus Avenue, he said.

Recently, residents saw a group at West 97th Street and Amsterdam Avenue and alerted police, who intervened, he said. 

Concerned residents at the precinct meeting urged officers to set up meetings with parents and tenant association leaders, which NYPD officials agreed to pursue.