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Boy to appear in Family Court in pepper spray case

Marie Jean Baptiste, in white, wipes the face

Marie Jean Baptiste, in white, wipes the face of her daughter Marina as Nassau Police and Uniondale firefighters respond to Northern Parkway Elementary School in Uniondale for a pepper spray incident which sent 20 kids and 4 adults to the hospital. (Oct. 23, 2013) Credit: Howard Schnapp

A 10-year-old boy who dispensed pepper spray Wednesday in a hallway, closing a Uniondale elementary school for two hours, has been charged with unlawful possession of noxious material, police said.

The boy was released to a family member and will appear in Family Court on Nov. 4, Nassau police said.

Twenty students -- including the boy -- and four faculty members were taken to a hospital for eye and throat irritation after the spraying at Northern Parkway School at 11:10 a.m., police said.

Police are investigating how the boy obtained the irritant, a department spokesman said Thursday.

The school was evacuated as police, a hazardous materials unit, and fire departments from Uniondale, West Hempstead, Roosevelt and East Meadow responded to the scene.

The school defines "pepper spray or other noxious spray" as a weapon, per federal law. The school's conduct code says such a spray should be confiscated, with the student's parents being notified and "appropriate disciplinary sanction if warranted," including possible referral for prosecution.

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