Six months before Adriana Kuch took her own life, the New Jersey teen heroically saved a young girl from drowning, WNBC-TV reports.
Kuch committed suicide earlier this month after being attacked in a hallway at Central Regional High School. As CrimeOnline previously reported, four girls allegedly began assaulting the 14-year-old on February 1 while she was walking with her boyfriend.
Video of the encounter shows one girl striking Kuch in the face using a water bottle and then other girls punching, kicking, and pulling her hair, leaving her bruised and bloody.
The bullying continued after the attack with vicious comments online.
Adriana’s father, Michael Kuch, believes the horrific tormenting drove his daughter to take her own life and has blamed the school for not doing enough to protect Adriana, according to WABC-TV.
In the wake of Adriana’s death, community members in Bayville, New Jersey, have come forward to share stories about Adriana’s legacy.
Kuch’s neighbor, Roxanne Gattuso, said the teen heroically saved her 8-year-old daughter who was drowning in the family’s backyard pool in August.
Adriana first thought the girl was playing around but the teen quickly grasped the seriousness of the situation.
“She realized no, something was wrong. She was so aware,” Gattuso told the New York Post.
A recording from a home security camera shows Adriana, whose nickname was Sissy, bolting into the water to rescue the girl.
“Thank God you were here, Sissy!” Gattuso remembered telling the teen, according to the Post.
Adriana reportedly visited the neighbors often, especially after Gattuso’s husband died in 2021. The woman said she has yet to tell her kids about Adriana’s death.
“I’m not telling the kids anything about this all because they loved her and they will go crazy. They will lose it,” Gattuso told the Post.
“She was like a daughter to me. She was at my house almost every day,” Gattuso added in an interview with WNBC-TV.
Adriana’s obituary says she “adored all animals, she helped children with special needs, she loved jogging with her brothers and was a true nature lover. Adriana also enjoyed her walks in the woods, skateboarding, riding dune buggies and dirt bikes.”
On Saturday, Ocean County prosecutors said the four girls who attacked Adriana have been criminally charged. One minor was charged with aggravated assault, two were charged with conspiracy to commit aggravated assault and another minor faces a charge of harassment, FOX 5 reports.
If you or someone you know is dealing with thoughts of self-harm or suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention hotline at 988 or visit SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.
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[Feature Photo: Adriana Kuch/Handout]