On Wednesday night, a 16-year-old resident at the Leake & Watts School in Yonkers, New York -- a residential center for at-risk youth -- died while being forced off of a basketball court. According to police, student Corey Foster became angry, and then went into cardiac arrest when six staff members piled on top of him trying to restrain him.
Seventeen-year-old Malik Legree, a witness, said that some of the boys were shooting hoops when they were ordered by the staff to clear the court. Legree said that Foster became upset about being kicked off. Foster passed out and went into cardiac arrest while being restrained by school personnel, according to the police.
Foster was rushed to the St. Joseph Medical Center in Yonkers, where he was pronounced dead.
Yonkers police are now investigating the case, talking to witnesses and waiting for autopsy results to determine whether criminal wrongdoing may have been involved.
The next morning, students at the school expressed shock and concern over the events that had transpired.
One Leake & Watts student told 1010 WIN's Steve Sandberg: “He was a good kid and stuff. I don’t know if he had any heart problems, but it’s sad that it would happen to him.”
The Leake & Watts School is a not-for-profit facility for students with emotional, academic and behavior issues, many of whom live on-campus, and is meant to provide support for families dealing with poverty, disabilities, and lack of access to education.
According to Meredith Barber, a director at Leake & Watts, school administrators and staff are trained in proper protocol for dealing with students' physical and emotional outbursts.
Barber said in a statement this afternoon: "We are deeply saddened by this tragedy and our hearts go out to this young man’s family and all who loved him."