Suicide: Staten Island teenager Felicia Garcia, pictured, threw herself under a train as her horrified classmates watched on
A bullied Staten Island teenager threw herself under a train yesterday as her horrified classmates watched on.
Felicia Garcia, 15, sobbing, put down her school bag and purposefully fell backwards to her death at around 3.15pm at the Huguenot Staten Island Railway station platform, which was packed with fellow Tottenville High School students. The teen, who friends claimed had long been tormented by school bullies, in particular football players, tweeted on Monday: 'I cant. im done. I give up.' The same day she posted photographs of herself on Instagram where she appears beaten and bruised, with her lips seemingly cut or sewn together. She added the hashtag 'beatup.'
A friend, Alissa Compitello, tweeted yesterday that the relentless bullying Felicia was dealt at school had driven the student to take her own life. 'SHE WAS BULLIED... SHE WOULDN'T HAVE DONE IT IF SHE WASN'T BULLIED,' the teen wrote. Earlier, Compitello tweeted: 'All this girl wanted was to be left alone... and nobody could do that for her. #prayforfelicia.' Another pal, Domenica Modica, said her father carried Felicia to the ambulance stretcher and tried to revive her before she was rushed to Staten Island University Hospital. She was pronounced dead just before 5pm.
Worrying: The teen, pictured on Monday, had signaled that she was depressed on Twitter and Instagram
Friends claimed football players at the Staten Island school were behind the destructive bullying, claiming they targeted her because 'she looked different and had piercings'. According to the Staten Island Advance, she had been in peer mediation and was behind closed doors with counselors all day yesterday after the latest dispute with a group of male Tottenville students.
Felicia had hinted of her depression on social media, with posts becoming increasingly intense in recent days. On her Instagram account, she had a picture of herself grinning with the word 'Depressed' covering her eyes. The caption read: 'Just because someone is smiling doesn't make them happy.' On October 17, Felicia tweeted: 'I hate when peopl (sic) are in my buisness (sic), you dont even know whats going on, mind ya neck #Shot -_-'
Tragic: Felicia, 15, pictured left and right, leaped to her death at around 3.15pm on Wednesday at the Huguenot Staten Island Railway station platform
Bullied: Friends said Felicia, pictured, was relentlessly picked on at school and this drove her to take her own life
She also wrote recently: 'Take me as I am or leave me as I was.' Felicia moved from foster home to foster home after her parents died, leaving her and younger brother orphans. She also spent time living at friends' houses and at her ex-boyfriend's place. '(She) had a terrible life on top of all the heartache — bullies at school taunted her and spread rumors,' Gabriella Leone, whose younger sister witnessed the incident, told The New York Post.
But Compitello, who, like hundreds of Tottenville students, wore black for mourning on Thursday and purple to symbolise the colour of the school and anti-bullying, said she never expected Felicia to do something so drastic. 'She was never upset, that's the thing. None of us saw this coming,' she told the SI Advance. 'She was saying "I have mediation with so many people," and I said, 'Are you okay?' She said, "I am fine. Don't worry about me." She was smiling. That's how she was.'
Harrowing: On Monday, Felicia tweeted 'I cant, im done, I give up'
Depressed: On her Instagram account, she had a picture of her eyes crossed over by the word 'Depressed' with the caption, 'just because someone is smiling doesn't make them happy'
Her friend, Dawn DiBenedetto, 17, added that Felicia never did drugs, and even shook her head 'no' when the topic arose. 'I'm still in shock; we're all in shock; because she's not the person you'd see this coming from. She was a good kid.' A Facebook tribute page 'RIPFeliciaGarciaStopBullying' has been set up for the girl and by Thursday afternoon had more than 7,500 likes. Friends and well-wishers were also tweeting about the shocking death using the hashtag 'RIPFeliciaGarcia.' Luisa De Luca tweeted: 'Rest in the sweetest peace Felicia Garcia, you will always be in our hearts forever. You didn't deserve this..' @KaylaJadex0 posted the last picture she took with her friend, adding 'REST IN PEACE FELICIA GARCIA I'M SO BROKEN THAT YOU THOUGHT YOU HAD TO GO..
Station: Felicia, sobbing, jumped in front of the train at the Huguenot Staten Island Railway station platform, pictured
Footballers: Friends said football players were behind the incessant bullying
The NYC Department of Education said in a statement that Chancellor Dennis Walcott has reached out to the student's guardian and sent a crisis team to the school. An emotional principal John Tuminaro called his students to break the news of Felicia's horrific death, which many were already circulating on their cell phones. Felicia's friends are holding a candlelight vigil today at the station where she was killed, and are making bracelets to raise money for a memorial in the bullied teen's honour and to give to Felicia's younger brother. Nearly two years ago exactly, 18-year-old Kyle Jensen jumped to his death at the same train station. He had also attended Tottenville, although only briefly.
Daily Mail UK