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.


One Comment

  1. joe says:

    Thank God the police have real crime like this to investigate. God bless deputy Barney and the rest. Shame on the chicken-leaving evildoers!

  2. DaveinVA says:

    We can’t have young people thinking they can do whatever they want. An example must be made of these three young men, who pose a serious threat to national security.

    They should be given 20 years at least to learn the errors of their ways.

    If we don’t severely punish these three, the terrorists win.

    1. Uncle Frodo says:

      I detect a scent of sarcasm here. At least, I hope I do. I think Tony Cesario had it right when he said that no one knows how to have a good laugh.
      At any rate, if you weren’t being sarcastic, I feel sorry for you.

  3. capt.spaulding says:

    Ok. Just want to get this straight. So it’s “ok” to trespass into our nation. Receive free health care while trespassing. Take jobs from those who are not trespassing. Receive free health care while trespassing. Have the leader of your homeland ridicule the country you are trespassing in for the way you are treated while trespassing. Gather in mass and march on our capitol to protest while trespassing. Have the Federal government demand that the local governments do nothing about your trespassing. BUT it is capitol offense to trespass on school property to put a chicken into that school for a prank. Wow, glad we have our priorities set straight.

  4. Mr. Armenia says:

    they should be charged with a federal crime

  5. Ret jr says:

    As the president of the Board of Education in a small rural district, I can state quite confidently that their punishment is way over the line. The problem is that they have pretty much removed the ability to employ common sense within the system. Local control is virtually non-existent. Common sense is just like muscles: if unused, it will atrophy.

    We are doomed

    1. wayne says:

      The war against our children continues. And they wonder why it is so easy to cut benefits to teachers and the schools? How stupid can they get?

      The big excuse is that this decision is out of their hands. Well maybe if they can’t make smart decision they should not be in a position of power.

      The solution is easy, full voucher to the parents and let them decide what school the kids go to. We need a system that values education, and the right kind of education. This is just a lesson in how lazy, stupid decision are made daily in our school systems. This is an example why there is a big growing home school movement.

    2. Zigfried says:

      If local control is virtually non-existent then it stands to reason that we should not pay them from local tax dollars. If they have no local control then they are relatively useless and their pay should be reduced relative to their limited authority.

  6. Sheila says:

    If the truth is as reported, the school officials acted ridiculously. Keep the boys from the prom, fine. But these clowns had the boys arrested, after the boys confessed. What did the kids learn – don’t tell the truth to authority figures?

    Remember folks, teachers, as a group, routinely score lowest on SAT scores than members of any other profession. This story proves it, yet again.

  7. It’s a funny prank. For pity sake, I can remember when the senior prank(when I was a sophmore) was to have a party on the roof of the school (the night before graduation) and leave coke bottles and a portable toilet on the roof of the school.

    It was a harmless prank. They should be made to clean up after the chickens, if anything!

    1. DSL says:

      Hmmmm?! The class of ’73 put an outhouse on the roof of our school, also! We must be neighbors!!!

  8. Hal McCombs says:

    Did the cop really say “it wouldn’t have been so funny if someone had been hurt”?

    By a chicken? What kind of chickens were these? Killer chickens? Now I’m really scared – what if these chickens escape from the laboratory and run amok?

    1. possom20 says:

      Teenage mutant kung-fu chickens.

      1. Edward Sonner says:

        good one

  9. The Chicken says:

    these kids should be cooked up and made into a nice human stir-fry over rice. see how they like it

  10. kasem-beg says:

    I read another story that the students proceeded to perform explicit acts on the chickens in the auditorium

  11. Wiggins says:

    did the chickens have large talons?

  12. says:

    send him away……….. he’ll have plenty of time to think about what he did and choke his own chicken

  13. GSP135 says:

    Well it seems that the children and parents think it is not a big deal and it is not fair to be punished. I have not seen a single quote saying, “maybe we were wrong”, “maybe it was stupid” or “I wish I would have known what my kids were up to”. (How do your kids go into Newark to buy chickens and you don’t even know about it? The parents should be kicking their kid’s butts!) Perhaps if there was just some thought given to the situation instead of “poor me! I can’t go to the prom” there might have been some forgiveness in the situation. It seems to me that it was more their attitudes (and those of their parents) that got them punished.

    1. DaveinVA says:


  14. welovetheUSA says:

    Are the chicken’s Muslim’s?

  15. Anon Ymous says:

    If their story is exactly as it is told in this news piece, then YES, the punishment is RIDICULOUS! I think the entire Senior class should skip the prom, pitch in enough money, and hold it a different location which is not controlled by the school!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Huntingmoose says:



    if the chickens would have been birds, that would be OK? O wait, a chicken is a bird. Or if a chicken was a cat. Would that be a serious issue? Or what about a rodent? or an insect?

  17. Just me says:

    There is more to this story than what these kids are saying. Maybe they should talk about the flagpole outside the school. Maybe they should tell where they really stole the chickens from. There are two sides to every story and most of you are willling to condemn the school system without hearing both sides.

    1. SCOTT says:

      Good try School District plant. Won’t help. This story is on Drudge. 036,606,181 IN PAST 24 HOURS have visited Drudge. People are posting on Facebook. By noon today, this story will be all over. I would not be playing damage control but instead publicly apologizing, backing down, and never repeating this. I would be researching what happened the last 5 times someone tried to interfere with someone flying their own American flag when those stories hit Drudge then on to the mainstream media. The Taxpayers are wasting their hard earned money on this nonsense. The cops are wasting their already overtaxed time on this. And you lose in the court of public opinion. You are giving young people legitimate reason to have a lack of respect for authority figures. Shameful.

      You give the American people another reason to question how, on three times the amount of money it cost per student in the public schools than it does in private schools, you guys are still failing.

      Time to take back our schools

      1. Just Me says:

        First of all I am not a school district plant…as you so called me. I happen to know a bit more about this…that’s all. These kids are not telling the whole story. Find out about the flagpole. And as far as the chickens it is a known fact where they were stolen from. And for the record..these are not “good” students. They have been problem students since grammar school. I am not siding with the school….just saying the kids are not what they pretend to be and the whole story is not being told. PS: do YOU know about the flagpole?

    2. SCOTT says:

      If this school district cannot handle it’s own discipline problems and has to handle such a basic prank by passing the buck to the authorities, they are unqualified for the job. Simple truth.

  18. Jean says:

    Oh for Pete’s sake! Teenage boys have been pulling pranks since the beginning of time. I would have dressed both of them in frilly pink aprons and hairnets. Given them a pail of water with disinfectant and rubber gloves and made them walk every inch of the school searching for and cleaning up chicken poop. Their friends laughing at them would have been punishment enough. That school and police department clearly don’t have enough work to do and perhaps the town should reduce both.

  19. Ron O says:

    Another reason to fire the overpaid teachers and principals in New Jersey. Jerks.

    1. CommonCents says:

      No, it’s time to start AT THE TOP… FIRE the superintendent, the Admin, the principal.

  20. Mindgrowz says:

    Those who brought legal charges should be fired, as they obviously have no common sense. It appears the school administration has a vendetta against these two boys. This is a sure way to teach young people that those in leadership do NOT deserve the respect they demand.

    1. Jive Dadson says:

      “This is a sure way to teach young people that those in leadership do NOT deserve the respect they demand.”

      You are right. There is a bright side. That is why I always applaud when the police shut down some kid’s lemonade stand. It teaches them an important lesson about police and government.

  21. Jive Dadson says:

    Those kids are lucky they were not charged under the Patriot Act and put into indefinite detention. Obviously the high school failed to drug them adequately.

    ATTENTION ALL CITIZENS: Alert level ORANGE. Do no attempt anything unusual. Remain calm and submissive. Do not release dangerous attack-chickens or express unauthorized opinions. Everything is under control. GO BACK TO YOUR TELEVISIONS.

  22. COL says:

    Enough of the police state yet, or would you comrades like more?

  23. ZEBRA005 says:


    pictures and names of two 17 year olds who are charged with criminal activity are in this article……THIS IS ILLEGAL because they are minors…..please remove names and pictures immediately….

    1. citizen says:


      its only illegal for the police to release the photos and names. If the family poses for photos and releases the names of the students thats perfectly fine.

      Again, its only illegal if the police do it, if the press calls you up, and you consent to your name and photos being in the paper, that is perfectly fine. In this case, it sounds like the two students were interviewed for the story, and they allowed their photo to be taken

    2. dbo says:

      zebra has no knowledge on the law or freedom of press.
      you remove your idiotic rants zebra….this is not illegal. the minors came forward with their parents…so what? if you think its illegal call the internet police…have cbs arrested, or just sue thats what everyone else does. stupid people everywhere….even u zebra…

    3. They blew up the Chicken Man in (Woodbridge) last night... says:

      “THIS IS ILLEGAL because they are minors…..please remove names and pictures immediately….”

      Relax, given that school and/or town officials were apparently (I’m sorry) too chicken to comment I suspect it was the students and their families who contacted the press.

      For that I commend them, and we should encourage ALL victims of the mindless, surreal “justice” that has become more common in our schools. Unlike characters in a Kafka novel we have the internet and expansive new media available to expose such insanity to the world.

      That’s right you government hacks – prepare to have your feather’s ruffled! Taxpayers are fed up with being henpecked! The chickens are coming home to roost! The pecking order is changing!

  24. Evan M. says:

    The adult responsible for pressing charges should be ashamed of him/herself. It is audacious that someone who is supposed to actually care about our students would risk giving them a permenent criminal record over stupid **** like this.

  25. zebra005 says:


    these two students are 17 years old….they are minors…..therefore, it is illegal to print their names and pictures…..the parents should get a good lawyer !!!!!!!!! this is a major crime….either the woodbridge police department, the woodbridge school system, or CBS news has committed a felony in publishing these pictures and giving their names.

    1. SCOTT says:

      Honey, Calm, It is not illegal to print their names and pictures, only for others to release them. The parents and student released them.

  26. Ml Wester says:

    Let the Superintendent know how you feel.

  27. goats says:

    Somebody from Kenya released a chicken into the Whitehouse and nobody has complained about that incident and they surely have not thrown anyone behind bars..

    1. CommonSenseLady says:

      Love your true words, goats! That chicken in the White House is causing MAJOR damage. These kids were just being “kids” for heavens sakes. Does anyone else remember any pranks in their high school days? Pranks that do no harm to people or property is just that – a prank. The punishment is ridiculous! The real problem is school administration. Let those kids go to prom, graduate WITH their classmates and maybe do a very few hours of community service if any punishment is warranted. Lighten up. This world needs more harmless laughs!

  28. Nadine says:

    Seriously? In the times we live in why would you get angry with a prank like that . The worst thing that could happen is that theres some chicken poop and some good laughs. I love chickens and mine make me smile all the time. You should teach the kids to handle chickens and other animals anyway, though times are coming and the kids need to know how to get food when the stores have none. Regardless theres bigger fish to fry…

  29. zebra005 says:

    these two students are 17 years old….they are minors…..therefore, it is illegal to print their names and pictures…..the parents should get a good lawyer !!!!!!!!! this is a major crime….either the woodbridge police department, the woodbridge school system, or CBS news has committed a felony in publishing these pictures and giving their names.

    1. dbo says:

      not a crime when they are the ones coming forward…sheesh…simmer down!

  30. Dave says:

    “[Releasing live chickens] may have been a joke to them, but police said it wouldn’t have been so funny if a student got hurt.”

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha HA ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haha ha ha ha h-h-ha heh heh… HA ha ha ha ha….

  31. class011 says:

    The same exact thing was done by us in 2001 along with releasing 2500 crickets that a teacher was ordering in bulk for students with reptiles…..not a thing was done but get ris of the chickens n crickets n laugh….and what about the homecoming goat incident in 95 i believe….greatest so far! And no punishment!

  32. salome sans si says:

    i’m betting that the one who punished the two boys was either having a very bloody period or some older menapausal b*tch.

  33. Jayden says:

    I let go 3 chickens at Amos Alonzo Stagg High School Palos Hills IL 2002

  34. ML Wester says:

    How incompetent can the Superintendent and Principal be? Seems to me they are the ones who need to go. And as for the police not de-escalating the situation, they only made matters worse–They should be fired also. The American People need to take a tough stand on Gross Incompetence and these are the cases where it needs to start. Instead of making examples of the pranksters we need to make examples of the FOOLS.

  35. chickenlittle says:

    In 1944 and 1945 we sent over 500 bombers a day to decimate Japan, now we have a President and country who cant even send over 200 Boeing 747 full of supplies and food to the wonderful people of Japan. God please cleanse America of this tragic comic named obama. He has bankrupt the USA, its so sad we cant even help the needy in other countries and our neighbors.

    1. CommonSenseLady says:

      Yes, this president is shameful and that is an understatement. The Japanese people need tons of food, water, clothing, blankets, heat sources, shelter, etc. and that arrogant s.o.b. is golfing and partying and ignoring the needs of Japan. Obummer does not deserve the spit out of our mouths. Can’t anyone in Congress take the lead and demand supplies be sent to Japan? Where are the leaders? The American people care about the needs of the Japanese but it is our GOVERNMENT’S responsibility to help others when disaster strikes. There is no leadership in the USA and that is the final shame. We pray for the Japanese people and hope someone in DC wakes up and sends help soon. The delay in helping is unacceptable. Shame, shame, shame.

  36. typing fast says:

    i just realized that all these comments will be pulled up whenever a potential woodbridge homeowner does a search…..i’d say that woodbridge parents will think long and hard before enrolling their child in a school that demands police action for a harmless chicken prank.

    when someone searches ‘woodbridge, nj’ , lots and lots of items will appear and they will include ‘chicken’ ….funny.

  37. tiny tina says:

    liberalism: drooling all over black children and telling them they are better than they actually are……and demanding the highest and most critical standards from whites……disgusting….this is what america has become….disgusting….disgusting….disgusting….woodbridge should transfer all students to other schools

  38. dr of many things says:

    These chickens can be threatening and dangerous. Students and faculty alike should be rightfully alarmed in this situation. A school lock-down would have been a proper response, followed by the haz-mat poultry containment team (HAPCOT). The pecking might break the skin of a victim and cause a serious infection, spreading thoughout the school and causing an epidemic into the larger community. Widespread death is not uncommon in these chicken scenarios, so the offending students should be punished to the full extent of the law, or at least to the level that suits the crime. The principal was a wise and just authority figure. The students should be scourged, boiled, beaten with rods, and thrown into a lions’ den. An appeal to allow them to attend the prom is advised.

    1. 80Cutlass says:

      Wow. Bravo old chap. The fact that just about everything you said before the last line was perfectly believable as a response from the type of mindless automata we have running our public schools.

      You could have added that some students might be allergic to feathers and vegan students might be offended and the civil rights of the chickens were violated because the school does not have a designated roost for their comfort

      Anyway, I’d rather have chickens running around the halls then these bird-brained school officials.

  39. NinjaM says:

    Oh wow what are the chicken goona do? Peck a student to death this is the stupidest thing I have ever heard of

  40. go for it says:

    here’s an idea for all woodbridge high school seniors for the next five days……STAY HOME…..write an email to your governor complaining about mistreatment in your f*cked up school…..there is strength in unity….

  41. robert m says:

    These kids did not steal their chickens. They bought them
    Think about it

  42. robert m says:

    I hope the students ALL boycott the prom. Register to vote at the earliest possible time. Work hard and take out the school board. the police chief, and the city leaders who hired the bozo’s. By enlisting their friends, parents, and relatives, they will start off with a pretty good little voting block.
    Thats the only power these overpaid, uneducated, can’t get a job in the real world government workers understand. and let them protest til they get hungry.
    Call it the Chicken Party. They will do society a favor
    Go Chicken Men and girls///////////////

  43. go for it says:

    everyone in the country should petition the nj governor and ask the state to take over the woodbridge school system…..les incompetents !!!!!!!!!!!!

    no parent of a senior student with a silly chicken should expect that their son be placed under arrent…..every american should be outraged….anarchy!!!

  44. just say go says:

    i’d love to meet the guidance counselor or vice principal that doled out this punishment on the two boys…..anal retentive a**hole from hell who probably spends all spare time viewing child porn on the internet.

  45. Homeschooler says:

    Out of control government AND SCHOOLS!

  46. sayso sayso says:

    the two boys in the picture look like the types who would risk their lives to confront a terrorist if he entered the school……it’s for sure none of the very unmanly ‘men’ teachers would.

    this is a sad day for woodbridge nj schools and a sad day for all government schools in america…..

    another thought: the jerks who run the woodbridge schools live in their own little world where rules are whatever they want them to be….

    it is definitey not a place for boys to grow into men..

    charter schools….vourchers…..homeschooling…….ANYTHING but these marxist traps with employees who treat themselves as royalty..

  47. Originalpranksta says:

    Complete garbage. The punishment and the prank. My senior prank we let out three chickens spray painted 1, 2, and 4. It took our faculty the better part of a week to figure out there was no no.3.

    1. Dave says:

      Brilliant !!!

  48. Barbara Kosloski says:

    Do the chicken dance at the prom…….

    1. Zac Town says:

      Whatever happened to having fun in highschool? I remember we had a full blown bonfire party at our school for our senior prank. The cops came, they threw the football with us for a few hours to make sure we didn’t do anything stupid. We had trampoliens, longboards, RV’s, portable bonfires, etc…, but these kids let a couple of chickens out! I feel so threatened by loose chickens! How about this, why don’t you tell your local Gov. that they get their paychecks because of us. Where did the backbone of the U.S.A. go?

  49. b says:

    Nazi’s hate chickens and any good clean fun!!

  50. B says:

    Someone dumb as a chicken caused this arrest……… totally this stupid this country has become!!!!!!!!

    1. jim says:

      I agree, this country is so F-ing out of whack, I don’t see a positive future here. Thank God my Dad had enough foresight to push us into gettting a second passport years ago. If you think things are bad now and everyone overreacts to everything just wait another 20 years and you won’t recongize this country.

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