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Nearly 200 parents, students involved in high school brawl that sent officer to hospital; at least 10 arrested

1 year 3 months 1 week ago Wednesday, March 08 2023 Mar 8, 2023 March 08, 2023 8:53 AM March 08, 2023 in Crime
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Law enforcement officials believe close to 200 students and parents were involved in a massive fight that started in a high school gym and spilled onto the rest of campus, ending with at least 10 arrests.

See videos from the fight here (Warning: Contains violence and explicit language)

WBRZ found a massive police presence at the EBR Readiness Alternative School — formerly the site of Brookstown Middle School — in the aftermath of the fight, as well as deputies picking a gun up off the ground in front of the campus. It was unclear if the weapon was connected to the fight. 

Listen to the moment deputies found the gun

Video shared with WBRZ showed a chaotic scene inside the school's gym, where the brawl apparently started. That footage showed chairs being thrown and multiple students being detained by law enforcement. In one video, an East Baton Rouge sheriff's deputy can be seen striking a student in the face. 

The NAACP released a statement Wednesday saying that representatives spoke to Sheriff Sid Gautreaux and that the agency is reviewing videos from the incident to decide whether deputies' actions were appropriate. 

Read the NAACP statement here

Read the statement from the East Baton Rouge School System here

The Baton Rouge Police Department initially reported about a dozen people were arrested after the fight, including students who were taken into custody for reportedly fighting law enforcement on the scene. The fight allegedly started with a small group of students but escalated into something larger, involving parents as well.

The East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office has deputies on the campus to serve as school resource officers, and WBRZ has reached out to the sheriff's office for further information. 

BRPD added that one officer was injured in the fight and was taken to a hospital..

WBRZ has also reached out to school officials who say they are working to gather more information and will provide more details as they become available. A witness told WBRZ that the fight started when a girl who was not a student at the school and her mom showed up at the school targeting another girl until it escalated. Faculty reportedly locked students in the gym during the fight.

The East Baton Sheriff's Office released the following statement Wednesday afternoon. 

At 8:15 this morning EBRP School Board Security responded to the Alternative high School (EBR Readiness) in reference to a major campus disturbance involving multiple students and parents fighting in the courtyard outside of the Gym.

Upon arrival, law enforcement observed multiple fights to include approximately 200 students and parents. A deputy working School Board Security Detail called for assistance and additional deputies and officers arrived on scene.

A BRPD officer sustained serious injuries to include a broken hip and head lacerations. A loaded gun was located in a grassy area in front of the school during the altercation.

EBRSO charged 8 individuals: One 17 yo male charged with Battery on a Police Officer, Disturbing the Peace with Force/Violence and Resisting Arrest; five (16 and 17 year olds) charged with Disturbing the Peace by Fistic Encounter, one 18 yo female charged with Unlawful Disruption of the Operation of a School and Resisting Arrest, and one 17yo female charged with Disturbing the Peace and Resisting Arrest.

BRPD arrested 2 individuals: One 17 yo male charged with 2nd Degree Battery of a Police Officer and a 15 yo male charged with Aggravated Battery of a Police Officer.

Pertaining to the video:

The video shows a deputy attempting to restrain a 17-year-old who struck him multiple times and attempted to bite him. All law enforcement on scene was focused on restoring order and maintaining everyone's safety.

A deputy instructed one 17-year-old male student to return to class, at which point the student cursed the deputy and struck him in the face once and pushed the deputy twice. He then approached deputy with a closed fist, at which point the deputy attempted to restrain the 17-year-old by pinning his arms to his side. At that time the juvenile attempted to bite the deputy's hand. The juvenile is charged with Battery on a Police Officer, Disturbing the Peace with Force/Violence and Resisting Arrest.

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