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April 2, 2014

2 arrested in Methuen High stabbing

Third eluded capture and still being sought

METHUEN — Police captured two men and were searching for a third in connection with the stabbing of a Methuen High School student in the school parking lot yesterday afternoon.

The victim, 18, was treated at Holy Family Hospital for a stab wound to the buttocks and was expected to be released, police said. About an hour after the stabbing, Leivi Jose Cruzetta, 19, of 7 Moison Ave., Methuen, turned himself in to police and was taken into custody on Tenney Street, Police Chief Joseph Solomon said.

Former Methuen High School student, Justin Suriel, 18, of 186 Tenney St. second floor, Methuen, was later arrested by police. The two teenagers were transferred last night to the Essex County Jail in Middleton where they were being held on $50,000 bail. They were due to be arraigned today in Lawrence District Court on charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and assault and battery.

Two school resource officers, at least one of whom is typically stationed in the high school parking lot during dismissal, saw an altercation at about 2 p.m. and ran toward it, Chief Solomon said.

“Three suspects fled in the opposite direction of the school,” he said. The officers stopped to help the wounded student while the attackers fled into the woods, according to the chief.

Solomon and Schools Superintendent Judith Scannell said neither the high school nor the nearby Timony Grammar School were locked down. “The suspects were pursued through the woods away from the school,” Scannell said.

Cruzetta is a Methuen High graduate known to the school resource officers, Solomon said.

Investigators obtained Cruzetta’s cell phone number through another person, Solomon said, contacted him and convinced him to turn himself in.

“We got a lead about the second subject and he was identified by the victim, who was shown a photo lineup,” Solomon said.

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