2 Teens in Apache Junction charged with assault after boy burned on school bus

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

FLORENCE, Ariz. --Two juveniles are facing assault charges in the case of an Apache Junction student being bullied while on a school bus.

Pinal County Attorney Lando Voyles filed misdemeanor assault charges against the two 16-year-old boys.

The Apache Junction High School students are accused of lighting pencil erasers on fire and burning a 13-year-old boy with them.

Reinhard Zorko, who is a student at Cactus Canyon Junior High School, said he kept the bullying a secret from his parents for weeks because the boys threatened him.

"They said that they were going to beat me up if I say something about it or they were going to have eighth-graders come at me and stuff like that," he said.

Apache Junction Unified School District spokesman Brian Killgore confirmed the two suspected bullies were disciplined, but due to district policy he could not discuss the punishment.

The victim's mother and school officials reported the abuse to the Apache Junction Police Department and the case was turned over to the Pinal County Attorney's Office.

"My focus remains fighting for safer communities, including freeing our children of school ground bullies," Voyles said. "I remain resolved in seeking justice for all victims, including our juvenile victims."

An advisory hearing is scheduled for April 11.