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Four North Buffalo teens were indicted Thursday in a Hertel Avenue hammer attack that sent a 17-year-old City Honors student to Children's Hospital for treatment of head injuries.

Erie County District Attorney Frank J. Clark said Kyle Nicholopoulos, 15, of Commonwealth Avenue; Joseph Mann, 15, ofShoreham Drive; Michael Strom, 17, of Traymore Street; and Donald Zogaria, 18, of Tacoma Avenue, were indicted on first-degree assault and attempted robbery charges.

Clark and Glenn Pincus, head of the Violent Juvenile Offenders Unit, said Michael Degnan was knocked unconscious when he and two friends were accosted as they walked out of a restaurant on Hertel near Commonwealth about 9 p.m. Jan. 9.

Clark said Degnan and his companions ignored the alleged demands of the four defendants to empty their pockets and Degnan was knocked unconscious when one of the assailants hit him on the head with a hammer.

Strom and Zogaria, who both face possible 25-year prison terms on the assault charge, are free on $5,000 bail.

Nicholopoulos and Mann, who are being prosecuted as juvenile offenders in the adult criminal courts and face maximum prison terms of 3 1/3 to 10 years on the same charge, are in custody in the Erie County Juvenile Detention Center.

Though still suffering effects from severe head wounds, Degnan is back in school, the prosecutors said.

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