Top Stories 2012: Ossining, Sleepy Hollow Fight

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The Ossining and Sleepy Hollow communities were stunned this year when students from Sleepy Hollow reported they were assaulted by Ossining teens after a football game. Photo Credit: The Ossining Daily Voice File Photo

OSSINING, N.Y. -- Three junior varsity Sleepy Hollow football players were taken to Phelps Memorial Hospital Center in October after they were reportedly assaulted in Ossining after a football game with rival Ossining High School.

The teens told Ossining Police they were assaulted and harassed by 15 to 20 teenagers in downtown Ossining following a game between the two schools. All three of the teens were later treated and released for “minor injuries,” police said.

Ossining Mayor William Hanauer called the behavior of the Ossining teenagers “abhorrent” and “unacceptable.”

“Often, as on Friday evening, teens act before thinking and mob mentality gives rise to greater vitriol and cover to incendiary behavior,” Hanauer said. “This is not what Ossining is all about. But this is not a moment either for panic or rash action.”

The incident caused both the Ossining School District and the Public Schools of the Tarrytowns to re-examine their policies in relation to fighting and bullying. 

Howard Smith, superintendent of the Public Schools of the Tarrytowns, said he was saddened by the incident but pleased that the school districts were working on moving forward. 

“Kids being attacked for their association with an organization or with the schools or anything else is not a lesson we want them to learn,” Smith said. “We are still educators and we can try to help kids come out of this with a learning experience. What we can do as adults is minimize the likelihood of those things happening in the future. I think that’s a healthy approach.”

The junior varsity football game between the two teams was rescheduled to a few days later without incident.

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