"It was your average, school football game." said the reporter. "It was Middlebury Vs Mt. Abe. The Middlebury team was on defense, and they were winning the game by a field goal. It was 4th down, 3rd and goal, and everything was going fine. Mark Taranto was a in as line-backer on defense. Mark Taranto was a in as line-backer on defense and he was the one that saved the girl. Here he is right now. Lets here the story in his own words. "Excuse me, Mr. Taranto." "Yes" sparky said. "I am a reporter from Channel 3 and would like to know what happened in your words" the reporter said. "Well" sparky said. "I knew the play and was in my position and the other team was still in their huddle. I was glancing around and I noticed the Mt. Abeís mascot was arguing with a old flame of mine. Kayleen Smith is her name. Anyway, I turned back to the game but I couldnít seem to ignore them and I could see them out of the corner of my eye. Well, the opponents came out of there huddle and when they snapped the ball, in the corner of my eye, I saw the Mt. Abeís mascot, remove his wing, raise his hand and slap Kayleen across the face. I guess I kinda spazed out and attacked him, ignoring the game." "But why did you attack him? It was really none of your business" the reporter said. "I donít really care who it was. When I see a guy hit/slap a women, I guess I canít tolerate it." I said. "To add to my anger, she was a old girlfriend, soooo....I guess you see why I did what I did." "Thank you Mark" the reporter said.
It was your typical school day. The date was May 6, 1999. (See calendar on wall) My ex-girlfriendís (Kayleen Smith) class was on a field trip to look at school scheduling blocks at Middlebury Union High School in Vermont. This also was the day that I brought my hover board that I have been working on for the past year to school. (the hover board is like a skateboard but has no wheels and has a little booster engine in the back. It also has magnetic boots that you put on so you do not fly of when you activate the boosters) Kayleen was in some of my classes but also was her boyfriend, Brian Philman. The day went by and when lunch came around everything seem to be normal. My friends Lee Andersan and Lynn Summer were there eating lunch with me. Brian was sitting with us. We were saving a table for Kayleen, and her friends while they were getting their lunch. Suddenly there was gunfire at the other end of the cafeteria. We all looked over and saw one of the janitors fall to the ground with the back of his shirt all stained in blood. Everybody in the cafeteria went quiet while a whole bunch of men flooded in through the entrance. The lunch supervisors went over to find out what they were doing when suddenly all the men pulled out machine guns and handguns except for the man in the middle. He just had a handgun. After the leader (man in middle) tolled the supervisors to lie on the floor everybody started screaming. They all start shooting in the air and everybody went quiet again. The leader than took another step out from his group and said "The next person who screams is going to become a stain on the wall." The leader stepped out and said "Everyone may address me a Razor. I suppose you are all wondering why I am taking this school hostage. When I was a senior in high school in Bristol, I was planning on marring my High School girlfriend. The summer after I graduated I found out that she had been cheating on me with somebody from here. The day after I found out they were going out, the guy she was seeing crashed over the cliff behind the school with my girl in it. (He bowed his head) "Ever since than I have wanted to get revenge on this Damn school. What also persuade me to do this the fact that my son was attacked by somebody from this school lately." While some of the gang was clearing out the cash register, everybody heard police sirens outside and than police cars along with the S.W.A.T. team filled into the parking lot. Knowing that they were outnumbered in people, the leader yells to the guys getting the money to get back in the group and bring hostages. As they were leaving they happened to grab Kayleen, Missy (Leeís Girlfriend) and Chasity (Lynnís Girlfriend). So that got us mad at them and we started talking about how to get our girlfriends back. By know Razor was yelling at the police that they have hostages and everybody would die if they did not leave. He also said that there would be no deals until he called the police. The police than drove away from the school. To make sure they all would stay away, Razor set about half of his men to surround the building. Meanwhile, Kayleen, Missy and Chasity were starting to freak out and they tried to break away from the gang. Razor than came out and slapped all 3 of them and tolled them to be quiet and stand still. I could not take it anymore. With fire in my eyes, I jumped up onto our table and launched myself onto the gang in a splash like jump with Lee and Lynn following, running around the table. We started fighting our way toward the middle because that is where they moved the girls. As we were fighting our way toward the middle, Razor was heading the opposite direction threw his gang. By know most of the people from the cafeteria had joined in the brawl so all Hell was breaking loose. I was able to notice that Razor was sneaking away down the halls. I really did not try to get to him until I noticed that he was dragging Kayleen along. When I got through the group, I was able to grab a handgun from a knocked out guard and chase him down the halls. While Lee, Lynn and all the others were getting the upper hand, I was running down the halls in hot pursuit, dodging bullets that Razor shot at me. When I turned around the corner he was standing there with his gun barrel against Kayleenís head. He said "Put your gun down or I will shoot her." I said "There is no escape for you Razor. Give it up." With his voice shaky, he yelled at me to put my gun on the ground. Fearing Kayleenís safety, I put the gun on the ground. He just stared right at me and kept backing up toward the back window. Suddenly Kayleen screamed "HELP MARK!" He than took the butt of the gun and hit her in the head with it. As she clutched her cut head I totally lost it, ran and jumped toward the leader. As I was heading toward him he shot at me and hit my side. It barely bothered me. I had so much of an adrenaline rush, I flew right at him just as fast. When my fist connected with his face there was instant blood that came from his nose broke. As he wobbled backward he dropped Kayleen and his gun to the floor. While I went to make sure Kayleen was all right he looked at me, smiled and said "mark my words little boy. YOU WILL PAY. HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!!!!" He than turned around and jumped out the window. As I got my gun and went toward the window, I noticed a grenade was just thrown up there. As I ran to shield Kayleen from the blast I noticed that he was driven of in a jeep. After the end of the hallway exploded, I went over but he was gone. Later the police came to round-up the rest of the gang members but they never found the leader. The 3 girls were mostly all right but Kayleen had a cut in here head. Besides that the girls were mostly just shooken up. After school I try my hover board and it hovers but the booster does not work. It sometimes starts and sometimes not. Life goes on regularly but there is a little more security in the school.
One month after the attack on our school happened, life was almost back to normal. It was a Friday night and I was going to a normal Friday night dance at a local teen center near my school. When I arrived at school in my Ď78 Camaro, I met Lee and Lynn there and we hung out with each other for about half and hour until the dance opened. Lynn told us how he had to get his breaks fixed since they were almost gone. I brought the hover board and we took turns taking it for a spin. When the dance opened I put the hover board in the back seat and we went inside. When we got in I noticed that Kayleen, her mom and sister were already there. (Kayleenís mom works there as a chaperone so both Kayleen and her sister can get in early) Thinking that she was there without Brian I was going to try to convince her to go back out with me. (I tolled Lee and Lynn this) I had written a poem about Kayleen and had put it in my coat pocket so I could read it to her. As I was walking toward Kayleen to put my plan into action, I saw Brian (her boyfriend) walk out of the bathroom. Disappointed that I knew I couldnít try to talk with her without Brian interfering, I went to the pool room to shoot some pool. About 20 minutes into the dance, everybody was there that was coming and mostly everybody was dancing. During a slow song (titanic song) I was left alone in the pool room while everybody else was dancing in the dance room. As I stood up to look for a shot, I noticed out the window, outside that there were many men putting hand-guns into there coats and talking. Thinking the worst I un-screwed my poolstick, put it into my trench coat and went to the dance room. By the time I got there the song was pretty much over and I went up to the DJ stand. (I was friends with the DJís) I asked them to put on the Armageddon soundtrack and the Airosmith song so I could go dance with Kayleen. (she would dance with me on this song because I asked her and she knows it is my favorite song) As we were dancing (while getting a stare at me from Brian), all the people from outside, poured inside and pulled out there guns. Two guys came over, grabbed me by the shoulders and pulled me away from Kayleen, while she was brought up to where the DJís are. As I was trying to break free, I noticed Razor walk in and walk upto the DJ stand. I looked around and I saw that 4 other guys were holding Lee and Lynn. (also in the same position as me) Razor than spoke. "So we met again Sparky. I bet you are wondering how I knew that you were going to be here. Well lets just say that there are many people who do not like you and would love to see you gone." He turns and looks at Kayleen. "This is a mighty good lookiní girl you were dancing with. Is she your Girl?" he said. I just gave him a stare. "I bet you are wondering why I had her brought up here" he said. " Well Iíll tell ya. You just seemed so angry every time I hurt her (all the time he was talking I looked around and Brian was no where in sight) Now, do you know how many of my men I lost since what you and your friends did to me last month. I am down to about 12 guys. How much pain do you think I will have to put you threw to make up for all my lost men. HHHMMMM?" "Let Kayleen go and you can do whatever you want with me. Let me put it another way. Let her go, take your men and leave or else you are going to regret it." I said. "Are you threatening ME?" he said with a laugh. "You are in not position to threaten me. Letís start with a little pain to your physical body. SPIKE, do your job" A guy comes over and punches my face with his fist twice. Than takes kicks me in the gut so I drop to my knees. He kicks me in the side so I fall on my back and than he starts to choke me with his foot. The 2 men that were holding me before, pick me up with a snicker from each one and they stand me back up. I have a trickle of blood dripping out of my mouth and my throat is all red while my ribs are bruised. (Of course I do not show it) Razor continues speaking. "How do you like that?" I just look up at him and break a smile and say, "My momma can hit better than your best man. What a wuss." "So you do not mind physical pain huh? Well, lets see how you do to Mental pain." Razor replies. He than grabs Kayleen by the hair and yanks her head back. She lets out a scream of pain that the whole dance could hear. "How about that?" he asked. Once again the fire of adrenaline pumps threw my body and I turn toward Lee and Lynn. Singling with my eyes, telling to do the same thing as me, I reach into my trench coat, pull out the too sticks, and swing the with full strength right between the legs of the guys holding me. They fell to the ground, clutching their family jewels. Lynn and Lee did the same but they used there fists instead. (it hurt the guys just as much though) I turn around and kick both guys in the face to set them on there backs. (still clutching there jewels) As the whole dance floor started attacking the last of Razors men I went up to the DJ to get Razor and Kayleen. He snuck around the other way and out the door. I ran after him (picking up a gun that one of the guys had dropped) and when I came outside I saw them taking off in the same jeep as the one he left in 1 month ago. I got into my car and as I started it up, Lynn jumped in with me and we took off after him down the dirt road near the dance.
We easily caught up with jeep and pulled up to the right of it. I grabbed my hover board, smashed and than climbed out the window, (while Lynn took the wheel) got to the top of the car and jumped onto the jeep knocking a guy out of the jeep onto the dirt ground. (Lynn than drove back and ran the guy over) After I knocked that guard out of the jeep, it was only Me, Razor, Kayleen and the driver. Razor pulled a gun on me and I reached to grab it. We started struggling with the gun and as we were struggling, it accidentally shot the driver. The gun ended up getting knocked out of our hands and was thrown over board. We struggled some more with each other while the jeep was heading for a cliff. Trying to figure out how to get everybody to safety, Lee pulled up in Lynnís pick-up. I told Kayleen to jump in the back and she did. As I was about to jump Razor grabbed my shoulder, turned me around a punched me into the gut. With tears in my eyes, I slugged him back but Lee had pulled away from the jeep because he was afraid that he would go off the cliff and the brakes might not work. While Razor was trying to get to his feat I started putting on my hover board. Suddenly I heard Kayleen cry "HELP! LET GO!" I turned to see that razor had grabbed onto her arm as the jeep was near Lynnís truck. I pulled out my gun, prayed I would not hit Kayleen (bouncy road) and fired. I shot Razor in the arm and it forced him to let go. The jeep drove off the cliff and the whole time I could hear Razor laughing. Just as the jeep left the ground, I hooked the last boot up, grabbed the board and jumped into the air. Knowing that I had little time, I quickly attached the boots to the board and hit the booster. Luckily, they went off and I went soaring. I barely made it to the edge of the cliff when the booster died. (We used up most of gasoline before dance). I landed on the cliff with my feet dangling over. As I was pulling myself up, I felt something grab my board and I noticed that he had jumped and grabbed a dangling root and was reaching for my board. I pulled myself up, looked down at him, and reached my hand down to help him up. He looked at me, smiled and let go and on the way down toward a ball of flame on the bottom he held both middle fingers up at me. Lee drove over, picked me up and we headed back to the dance. On the way back to he dance, I put my trench coat around Kayleen because it was getting cold outside. She reached into the pockets to warm her hands and she pulled out the note with the poem in it. On the top it said Kayleenís poem and before I could get it she already turned her back to me and started reading the poem. After she had read it she folded it up, asked if she could have it, (I nodded my head yes) placed it in her pocket and did not say a word the rest of the way. By the time we had gotten back to the dance, police were there, talking with Kayleenís mother and also talking with some other people including Brian. When we pulled up, her mom was there to see us along with Brian. When Kayleen got down, her mom embraced her with hugs and kisses while I jumped out to see what had happened when I left. Lee said that everybody had been getting an upper-hand on the gang so he decided to leave and try to help me and Lynn. He found Lynnís spare keys and headed down toward us. While he was explaining what happened to me, I noticed that when Kayleen walked up to Brian, he took the trench coat of her, dropped it on the ground, placed his coat on her and took her inside. As he was taking her inside, I noticed that he looked back past us. (Lee and I both turned our heads backwards) It was almost as if he was looking for something or somebody to come. We were talking with the police when Lynn drove up. He said that the truck was a big ball of fire at the bottom of the cliff and he said that nobody could have survived that fall much less the explosion. I looked toward the sky almost thankful that it was all over and in the corner of my eye I noticed Brian standing in the doorway in a distance close enough to hear. One week later, the towns people of Middlebury voted to have a S.W.A.T. building built on the outside of Middlebury.