Toms River High School South student charged with robbery, assault

    Police charged a 17-year-old Toms River High School South student with various crimes after punching a school safety officer, removing money from a cafeteria cash register, and struggling with a police officer, authorities said.

    At 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Toms River Police Department Patrol Office Brian Jarka responded to the High School South cafeteria for an “out of control” student, said Ralph Stocco, spokesman for the department.

    The 17-year-old, a resident of South Toms River who was reportedly wandering the halls while classes were in session, refused to stop after school staff approached him as he entered the cafeteria, which was being used for study hall at the time, Stocco said. 

    An adult school safety officer arrived and attempted to speak to the student, who was “clearly agitated,” Stocco said, adding that the student “suddenly turned towards the officer and punched him in the side of the head, knocking him to the ground.”

    The student then reached into the cash register, removed ten dollars, and attempted to flee, according to Stocco. But a struggle ensued, and several school employees and a student held him down until Officer Jarka arrived.

    “He resisted Officer Jarka’s attempts to handcuff him as he fought from the ground,” said Stocco. “He was subsequently brought under control and later transported to a juvenile detention facility.”

    The student was charged with robbery, resisting arrest, and aggravated assault on a school employee.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.