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

Allegedly Turn Animals Loose In School, Face Criminal Charges
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N.J. chicken prank

Anthony Cesareo, right, and Tyler Bruno are facing criminal charges for their role in a prank inside a New Jersey high school. (Photo: CBS 2)

Christine Sloan thumbnail Christine Sloan
Emmy-award winning journalist Christine Sloan joined CBS 2 News in...
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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.

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