By Jon King /

Three juveniles caught on video assaulting another student near Howell High School last month will be charged as adults in the incident.

In a press release issued Monday afternoon, the Livingston County Prosecutor’s Office said that the three defendants, whose precise ages were not indicated, were charged as adults with Assault with Intent to Commit Great Bodily Harm, a felony punishable by 10 years in prison. The names of the defendants are also not being released until they are arraigned on the charges in 53rd District Court.

The release states that an investigation by the Howell City Police Department determined that the three defendants “acted as though they were befriending the victim, who was new to Howell Public Schools.” This reportedly included spending time with him at lunch and in school passing time. They then allegedly encouraged the victim to meet them at the Howell Skatepark after school.

At that point, authorities say they then invite him to walk around to the back of the bathroom area, out of sight of the buses and Freshman Campus. Once there, the release states that two of the defendants attacked the victim, pushing him to the ground, where they then kicked and punched him multiple times. The incident was videotaped by the third defendant. The investigation revealed that the attacked “was unprovoked by the victim and planned by the defendants.”

The Prosecutor's Office notes that Assault with Intent to Commit Great Bodily Harm is considered a "specified juvenile violation" wherein a juvenile who is 14, 15, or 16 years old may be charged as an adult offender and if convicted, may be sentenced in the manner as an adult.

The video, which is only 12 seconds long, made its way across social media and initially shows four students outside of the high school approach the student, who was identified as having special needs, shortly after the school day ended. Two of the four then closed in on the student, who is heard to say “Ow” as they began shoving and punching him, forcing him to the ground. At that point, one of the students kicks him and then both attackers stand over the victim and repeatedly rain down blows on him before walking off.

The video was addressed in an email to parents by Superintendent Erin MacGregor, who called it “disturbing” and said it was “troubling to know that this occurred on our campus.” He added that the actions on the video should not represent the student body, noting that it was fellow students who brought the matter to their attention.

District spokesman Tom Gould told WHMI that “Upon learning of the incident, the high school worked quickly to identify those involved. As a school and a district, we do not tolerate this type of behavior. The school has started the discipline process per the district’s student handbook, and law enforcement is involved.”

Howell Deputy Police Chief Michael Dunn told WHMI that the district’s School Resource Officer worked closely with school officials since the day it occurred and quickly forwarded a report to the Prosecutor's Office for review.