Live Chicken Prank Lands 3 N.J. Students In The Coop

Allegedly Turn Animals Loose In School, Face Criminal Charges

WOODBRIDGE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — It was supposed to be a senior prank, but now three students in Woodbridge said they’re facing criminal charges — and may not be able to walk through graduation ceremony and take part in other senior activities.

Does the punishment go too far?

It wasn’t the T-shirts that got two 17-year-olds in trouble, but the actual chickens they said they released into their high school as part of a senior prank back in February.

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“So we confessed. We told the truth. Now we’re getting charged with trespassing, disorderly conduct, not allowed to go to prom, not allowed to go to graduation, and all that,” Anthony Cesareo told CBS 2’s Christine Sloan.

Cesareo and Tyler Bruno said they bought live chickens from a store in Newark and pushed the chickens through a window at Woodbridge High School in the middle of the night. A janitor found them in the morning before school started.

“Just how harsh they’re being with the punishment and everything, the seriousness of a not serious prank,” Bruno said.

Cesareo, who was suspended from school Wednesday, spoke to Sloan with his mother and two friends who face the same consequences.

“They’re taking it too far, way too far,” Anna Cesareo said. 

The school’s principal wouldn’t comment and Sloan’s calls to the superintendent haven’t been returned.

Police said they can’t release information on the 17-year-olds because they’re juveniles, but they gave Sloan the report on 18-year-old Bryan Pater, saying he’s been charged with trespassing.”

“I am very worried,” Pater said.

Pater said he’s not happy about the charges and of not going to the prom.

“For us not to be there, it would just be heartbreaking,” Pater said.

“It’s not fun anymore. No one knows how to have a good laugh,” Anthony Cesareo added.

It may have been a joke to them, but police said it wouldn’t have been so funny if a student got hurt.

The teenagers said they got the chickens from a live poultry shop in Newark, but the shop denied it, saying they don’t let live chickens leave their premises.

The 18-year-old faces a $1,000 fine and six months in prison, but it’s unlikely he’ll face any time. A judge can give him community service.

Do you think these kids are being too harshly punished? Offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

More from Christine Sloan
  • Ken Groth

    Geeez get over it you anal retentive jerks! If I were a member of your community I would have been laughing my butt off! Lighten up and the kid is right, no one knows how to laugh anymore!!

  • Mark

    clearly the liberals Nazis run that school, were fun and being young is not politically correct

  • FrankieD

    Drop chages. There was no vandalism and no one and no chickens got hurt.
    Make ’em scrub the gym toilets for a week and detention for a week…that’s all that this is worth. Oh yeah, let ’em go to the prom dressed as chickens!

    Kirk out.

  • Pat

    This is just stupid. These poor kids staged a senior prank. An hour of detention would have sufficed. Criminal charges? Are you kidding me? I hope someone regains their sense of humor (and common sense prevails) and puts this in its proper perspective. These kids deserve a little understanding. Detention, yes. Criminal charges, I don’t think so!

  • Dave

    I suppose if it had been a dead chicken they would have been arrested for chicken abuse?

    • Chris

      everyone at the school should show up with a shirt and a chicken can’t kick em all out

  • Redneck


    • Chris


  • henry

    No harm, no fowl. OK, one fowl. I don’t see what the big deal is. Nobody had their rights violated. No property was destroyed. I think the proper punishment is one hour of detention.

  • guyguy8778

    call john a. crowe superintendent of woodbriddge nj schools

    he makes $180,000. per year in a school system of 13,000 students….stats: he is overpaid; he golfs with the ‘in’ nj crowd (read – nj corrupt)…call him and give him hell…….


    1. governor christie currently wants to lower all superintendents’ salaries but liberal marxist crowe believes he is underpaid!!!!!!!

    2. crowe is ‘demanding’ more state funding for woodbridge; let’s see what trenton thinks of him now that CBS news and woodbridge parents andd students believe he is a joke.

  • solo_poke

    After reading this article everybody in the world knows “Who the real chickens” are…Members of the school board, principal, and spineless teachers who don’t dare speak up to defend the young hooligans with training wheels, I am reffering to you.

    Police and prosecutors in this case will have a very special place in hell reserved just for them.

  • Anthony Celi

    WHS is a joke. This isn’t the first time they were on the news having to explain their fascist attitudes and ‘attempting to be hard’ punishments. This is America, and it’s slowly falling.

  • Optimus Primus

    Why are you all obsessed with poultry?? The punishment isn’t about chickens it’s about discouraging senior pranks. Seniors get really stupid and it gets worse every year.

    And you’re ignoring the real lesson of this story: NJ kids, parents and school administrators are idiots.

  • david5300

    This is a real sad commentary , the principal should be assigned to latrine duty for lack of humor. The students should go else ware for their prom and not tell the school.
    the school teachers could then all sit in a circle and stare at each other.

  • Frank

    They look like a couple of dimwits.

    • jk

      look in a mirror lately??

    • A Waste Of My Taxes

      Agreed. Although I’m sure they both have very bright futures in either the yard work or sanitation professions.

  • rbblum

    And moral of the story? Chickens have legal rights . . . chickens should not be subjected to kidnapping and oppressed . . . chickens should not be place within a highly populated area that could be exposed to unhealthy defecation uncontrollably released by chickens. . . . chickens should not be subjected to the bullying antics of mankind, including students under the control of the United States Department of Education. Sooo, what was the real transgression against the chickens and society that the high school students were guilty of? All of which should be decided by a trial by jury of ones peers . . . and not the subjectivity of America’s administrators of higher learning.

    • JK

      can’t wait to see how much this costs taxpayer to run its course through the courts

  • monty

    What a bunch of turds in charge of this school . . . and these people are in charge of the education of kids? I am not impressed.

  • solo_poke

    Nobody else in this country goes to jail for non violent crime until bankers, CEO’s, Wall street geniuses go to jail.

    Funny how the cops can find and charge the low hanging fruit, but do not poses the cohones to go after the real crimminals who are stealing these same cops pension plans.

    Wake up boys in blue you are chasing the wrong crimminals.

  • Stupid cops

    Police are to militant. Society is to uptight. Authorities have lost their commonsense. This is good innocent fun.
    America is becoming lost. They don’t worry about real problems. The debt, the language and story lines in modern music, the lack of values. The reprucussions on such a criminal charge on young people. Police need to relax and find real things to focus on.

    • Jeffrey

      It’s not the cops… it’s the idiot liberals running the schools.

  • doc evans

    When he was about 10 my youngest son was attacked by a 3 pound rooster. The son tripped and broke his arm. We considred that to be the son’s mistake, small roosters aren’t dangerous.
    But the school in question is in the east, not Kansas farming coutry. I could see paniced city kids hurting themselves fleeing chickens, so give the pranksters a three day suspension and a bowl of chicken soup.

  • WHSstudent

    no windows were broken, no chicken/hen was harmed and the funny thing is, the one hen actually layed an egg in the class! All teachers had a laugh and everyone thought it was funny.. I hear the boys are also making more of their chiecken shirts and I say GOOD for them!! way to go guys!

  • guyguy8778


    woodbridge, nj phone numbers:

    woodbridge, nj school superintendent JOHN A. CROWE: 732-602-8550
    tell john crowe to eat crowe.

    woodbridge, nj high school principal: 732-602-8600

    woodbridge, nj board of education: 732-750-3200

    • joe

      maybe he’s mad they didn’t release crows, he’s anti chciken

  • guybuy8778

    woodbridge, nj phone numbers:

    woodbridge, nj school superintendent JOHN A. CROWE: 732-602-8550
    tell john crowe to eat crowe.

    woodbridge, nj high school principal: 732-602-8600

    woodbridge, nj board of education: 732-750-3200

  • Bohica

    How pathetic of the school. These kids were likely taught how to put a condom on a banana, given birth control pills or taught about the joys of fisting, but releasing a chicken in the school demand SERIOUS punishment?

  • Kathleen

    So let me get this right!

    It is okay to kill then eat a chicken, it is ok to eat a chicken sandwich or nuggets at school, but a live chicken going to school is wrong?

  • Rene Bruce

    We hope all these comments are copied and presented to the principal and board superintendent. My dad (86 now) knocked over the school outhouse. My class taped up all the classroom doors (I’m 62). My daughter’s class (who all saw ET) less loose a bushel of frogs. We’ve laughed our way through 3 generations without the police, missed proms or retribution from the principal. Laughter is the very best medicine of all!!

  • stan

    Did those chickens have talons?

  • Lemur King

    You can’t be cavalier about this. If you aren’t careful you could peck an eye out.

    I can see teachers or administrators getting freaky but the police, too?

    Guess it is just as well, chickens are the gateway animal. Today, chickens… tomorrow, wildebeests and selling one’s body for even a marmot.

  • guyguy8778

    this woodbridge nj chicken incident is a symbol of everything that is wrong with america today.
    It is the face of marxist liberalism in 2011.
    i will be calling the white house tomorrow and chatting with whomever will listen and i will tell all my friends and neighbors to do the same.

  • j

    Just give the boys three whacks each with a paddle and send them on their way.

  • Michko

    This ‘no tolerance’ theme with kids today is rediculous. Let kids have fun and this was a harmless prank. I am sure some liberal out there would suggest counseling for the poor chicken. Pranks are pranks, not criminal behavior. Deal with the real problems like drugs! Woodbridge Township officials should all be fired if they supported this drastic punishment for a ‘pretty funny prank’. Back in the day….we did a lot of these type pranks and because there was no ‘political correctness’ most everyone, including teachers, thought it funny.

  • tornado2828

    and woodbridge seniors….don’t be afraid to turn the tables on your administration and teachers….pounce on this story and it will make national news…..sympathies are with the students and definitely not with the school administration…..

    once the school system is embarassed, your superintendent knows that his head is on the chopping block….he will be the first to go and will be followed by the high school principal…..

    kids, you are in the drivers seat….already, CBS news thinks your school administration is packed with jerks……these people will do whatever is necessary to hold onto their jobs!!!!!!

  • Madelynn

    “If a student got hurt…” How could a some student be possibly hurt by a chicken. Is it also dangerous for us to have them in our yard?
    Please protect us!!!

  • Anonymos

    “In case someone got hurt…” Have you ever heard of someone getting killed by a chicken? Big Brother…

  • Anonymos

    “In case someone got hurt…” Have you ever heard of someone getting killed by a chicken?

  • Rowdy Boots



  • k.

    i love how people are saying stuff like they personally know these kids and their school grades. like shutup. their great kids who actually do good in school with their grades who were just like every other senior in the world wanting to leave with a great prank.

  • Kevin

    The boys (really young men) are learning the hard way that they live in a feminized police state. They should get used to the prison system now as eventually we will all be in concentration camps….

    • JohnR

      This is unmitigated garbage, A senior prank is a senior prank, What kind of examples do we set for America’s future providers when we adults do junk like this? No wonder alumni contributions suffer.

  • tornado2828

    redo tee-shirt to include both the chicken AND line below

    2011: the year woodbridge high school challenged the chicken

    – have every senior wear it on graduation day….i will send photographers for national news……

  • Mike

    I think someone laid an egg on this one. It is just plain stupid that the boys would be treated this way. This is lame compared to what happened in my High School. The toilets were blown off the floor using M-80’s. No one got in trouble for that. I don’t agree with it but that’s what happened. So give me a break! A chicken in school is NOTHING.

  • HUGO

    Lighten up, it was a school boy prank. These are good boys and they shouldn’t be punished like common criminals. Whatever happened to common sense?

  • Rmc

    Way way too harshly punished for a harmless teenage prank. I actually thought it was quite funny. School administrators need to learn to laugh along with the students and create a rapport that enhances school camaraderie.

  • JohannaNoel

    I love their T-shirts. Where can I get one?

  • felice

    i say they should arrest and
    fine the chicken loving

  • tornado2828

    i know first hand what goes on inside public schools today and i find much of it disgusting and some of it bordering on marxism…… is true that teachers constantly tell students not to allow themselves to become victims……and to take action whenever they feel they have been abused….

    it may be time for you to tell the woodbridge nj high school administration and faculty to take their own advice.

    let freedom ring.

  • Lil Rodney

    Stupid white boys.

    • GFM2011

      Judging by your racist comment, I am assuming that you are one of the 12.8% of American citizens whose average IQ is 21 points lower than that of Caucasians. For those of you from Oakland, that means “whitey.” Stupid white boys, indeed. Everyone knows that “boys” are not white…

    • You

      “White boys”? Did you look at the picture and read their names?


  • Howard

    What a bunch of Chicken @#$%!! Whatever happened to boys will be boys? Let them pay for the broken window and cleanup and let them get back to normal. Solunds like a bunch of PC idiots in charge of the school system.

    • Jim

      You have a good answer for this………..People in charge have got to be damn stupid

      • k,

        they didnt even break a window…….

  • Dan Te

    They should also be charged with animal cruelty.

    • Jim

      And you are plain stupid my dumb friend

    • shutup

      you eat meat dont you

    • GFM2011

      You eat meat, don’t you, “Dan Te?” You know, like dogs, cats, other so-called domestic animals… Friday night family dinner? But that’s not animal cruelty, that’s “cultural differences.”

  • grandma

    now… if they BROKE a window to push them through make them pay for it (it doesn’t say anything about “breaking”)

    Perhaps they need to spend and after-school day or two helping the janitor to make up for the extra work they caused…

    But… it was a harmless prank! Thank goodness it was a chicken and not a skunk!

    • Michelle Dangler

      I agree with you completely!

  • Mary

    Our senior prank was a greased pig, that the janitors had one heck of a time catching. My kids’ class released crickets, I believe 1000 of them in the cafeteria and I believe the ones that did it, also got banned from prom. Ahhhhh… are crazy.

  • CTITman

    In the 60’s in small town AZ, we wore guns to school during rodeo week and once I swung around in my desk and knocked the kid behind me into the next row and onto the floor for flicking my ear with a pencil multiple times. The teacher turned around from the blackboard, asked what happen, I told him, he told the other boy to straighten his desk up, sit down, and class went on. These days I would have been put in jail for carrying a gun and assult and battery. This PC garbage is teaching our boys to be wimps, which is its purpose.

  • Jonathan Grant

    In my high school, people used to write “Class of….” on the roof of the tallest slate roof in the school. The principal threatened suspension for anyone caught, but the athletic director, a real great guy, actually paid for the paint and helped the students get to the roof.

    Subdue creativity, and you will have a Soviet style society

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