Report: 5th-grader who leaped to death upset by chess match

DUMONT, N.J. (AP) -- A fifth-grade boy who lost a chess match during recess was in tears and upset because his opponent did not say "checkmate" before he jumped to his death from a second-story window at his school, according to a police report.

Dumont police released a report Wednesday into what happened before the 10-year-old Grant Elementary School student leaped to his death after playing chess last month, The Record ( ) newspaper reported.

"Do you want me to do something drastic?" a lunch aide recalled hearing the boy say to his opponent, the report said.

The aide told police the boy was upset after his opponent captured his king without saying "checkmate."

The lunch aide told investigators that she saw the boy write a note after the match, hand it to his opponent and ask the other boy not to open it until he got to the cafeteria.

The aide said she confiscated the note and turned around to see the child jump from the window, according to the report.

The contents of the note weren't disclosed.

According to the report, a classmate said the boy had alluded to jumping out the window on at least four occasions. Following a close chess match in December, the classmate said, the boy became angry after losing and said, "I'm this close to jumping out the window!" while holding his thumb and index finger about an inch apart.

The classmate said he never told anyone about the threats because he thought the boy was "messing around," the report said.


Information from: The Record (Woodland Park, N.J.),

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