Chanel Lewis, accused of the jogger murder in Howard Beach, spent four years at the Martin de Porres High School on Beach 110 Street, graduating in 2015. The school is slated for troubled teens, although staffers and the school and relatives say that he was a model student.
The Martin de Porres school, formerly the Stella Maris High School for girls, sits at Rockaway Beach Boulevard and Beach 110 Street. The school’s website says that it is for students who have had a troubled past in traditional high schools.
Howard Beach jogger killer Chanel Lewis has ties to Rockaway, having graduated from Martin de Porres High School, formerly Stella Maris Catholic High School, on Beach 110 Street, officials say.
The 20-year-old man who allegedly killed Howard Beach resident Karina Vetrano, touching off a massive manhunt that was ended last week with a DNA hit, attended the Rockaway school for “troubled” teens from September 2011 to his graduation in August of 2015.
According to the school’s Website, students who attend the school “struggle with internal and external factors beyond their control that have contributed to a failure to thrive in school,”
In a statement released to the press, Dr. Edward Dana, the school’s executive director said that there is no disciplinary record against Lewis, “nor are there any reports that he made threatening statements against other students.”
According to the Daily News, however, on May 17, 2011 administrators at the High School for Medical Professions in Canarsie, a city public school, called police, reporting that Lewis got into an argument with a female student and later asked the dean, “What happens if I bring a knife to school?”
Police did not arrest Lewis at that time, but they did declare him an “emotionally disturbed person,” and sent him to Kings County Hospital for psychiatric evaluation.
According to the News report, Lewis repeated his hatred of women in a more recent encounter with police, but the threats again did not warrant his arrest.
“There was no victim, no complaint, so there was no crime,” a police source told the News reporter.
A staff member at the school told the News that she was stunned by the charges against Lewis.
“He was the perfect kid,” said speech and language pathologist Amanda Edison, who worked with Lewis in 2015.
Lewis’ sister said he was not a woman hater.
“We’re not killers,” Theresa Forbes told the News. “We’re church people. They set him up.”