15-year-old dies after assault, traumatic head injury at Lowell party

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BOSTON - A 15-year-old died Monday morning from injuries sustained in an alleged assault at a house party in Lowell Friday night. 

Police say Joseph Zagarella, 18, was charged with assault and battery after allegedly slamming the Tewksbury teen head-first into a concrete floor. 

Both Zagarella and the victim had been drinking at the party on Boylston street in Lowell with around 100 other teens, according to police, when the victim allegedly stumbled into him, prompting the assault. 

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Police say a number of teens had been drinking at the party and witnesses say the Zagarella bragged about the assault as he left the party, but allegedly lied to investigators before he was arrested. 

"He's shook up, it's an unfortunate situation," Zagarella's uncle told FOX25 Monday. 

The 15-year-old was taken to Lowell General Hospital with a serious brain injury and later taken to Tufts Medical Center where he was pronounced dead Monday morning. 

The victim has been identified as Ethan Costello, a student at Tewksbury High School.  FOX25 spoke with his mother off camera and she said Ethan died in her arms.

FOX25 also spoke with Tessa Dokos, a friend of Ethan's who was at the Lowell house party Friday night.

“As soon as he saw me he says Tessa, gave me the biggest hug. I was walking around holding his hand, just being happy, he's always happy,” she said.

"Tewksbury Public Schools was sad to learn this morning that one of our high school students passed away as a result of events that took place over the weekend outside of school," Tewksbury Public Schools Superintendent Christopher Malone said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with this student's family, and know that as a school community we will support them."

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