Arrests made in stabbing of Methuen High School student; one suspect still sought

A student at Methuen High School was stabbed during an altercation in the school parking lot on Tuesday, leading to two arrests and another suspect being sought by police, officials said.

Leivi Jose Cruzetta, 19, and Justin Ramone Suriel, 18, both of Methuen, were arrested and charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. They are expected to be arraigned Wednesday in Lawrence District Court, Methuen police said.

At about 2 p.m., three suspects were involved in the stabbing of the 18-year-old male student at the high school, according to police.

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The victim was taken to Holy Family Hospital in Methuen, and was expected to be released shortly after, police said.

Two police officers posted at the high school and the adjacent Timony Grammar School responded immediately to the parking lot and chased the three suspects into the woods behind Methuen High, said Judith Scannell, superintendent of Methuen Public Schools.

Police did not believe students in either school to be at risk, and did not lock down the buildings.

“No students were in danger whatsoever,” said Scannell.

James Giuca, principal of Methuen High School, said that students in the parking lot gave police one of the suspects’ names. Cruzetta is a former student at Methuen High, police said.

Methuen police contacted Cruzetta with the assistance of the State Police gang apprehension unit. Cruzetta later turned himself in to police, Methuen Police Chief Joseph Solomon said in a video press briefing.

Suriel arrived at the police station with a parent, turning himself in as well, police said.

Police are seeking the third suspect, who has not been identified.

State Police provided a K-9 unit, as well a helicopter for a perimeter search, police said.

The event was not gang-related, authorities said. Police are investigating the connection between the suspects and the victim.