Six arrested at high school fight in Santa Maria

November 20, 2014

B21wePdIMAEua75A lunchtime cat fight between two female students at Righetti High School in Santa Maria led to multiple brawls, six arrests and the lockdown of a nearby school Wednesday. [KEYT]

Around 12:30 p.m., two female students began fighting in Righetti’s quad area, where about a thousand students were located for lunch. The fight morphed into a brawl, and then a second fight began, starting with two male students, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.

A sheriff’s deputy arrived and tried to break up the fighting, but the officer was attacked and had to call for backup. Other deputies then came to the scene, along with Santa Maria police, California Highway Patrol officers and Santa Barbara County firefighters.

During the melee, students threw food, some of which landed on a deputy’s uniform. A photo taken by a student showed a deputy covered in cafeteria cheese wrestling a student to the ground.

A cell phone video of the incident shows an officer striking a female student in the face and knocking her to the ground. A sheriff’s spokesperson says, though, it was done in self-defense.

The six students arrested face charges ranging from assault, to battery of a peace officer to possession of marijuana on school grounds. Officers arrested one student for possession of a knife.

A law enforcement helicopter flew above the school searching for other suspects.

During the incident, nearby Saint Joseph High School went into lockdown. Other neighboring schools did not.

Authorities say an investigation into the incident is ongoing and more arrests could come. Investigators still have yet to determine an initial cause of all of the fighting.



  1. indigo1955 says:

    Who writes this crap? Terms like “cat-fights” for female violence and “boys being bad” for men who rape are both so politically incorrect it is stunning. I think the person who used to design my maternity clothes in the 80’s (which also were in very bad taste) has begun writing for Cal Coast News.

    (-2) 8 Total Votes - 3 up - 5 down
    • BeenThereDoneThat says:

      O.k. I’ll ask as no one else has. How does your statement pertain to the article??? I don’t see EITHER of the statements you mentioned.

      (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
    • achillesheal says:

      They should have called it “la grata” fight! Or el gato fight. Would have been more appropriate and understood by the participants.

      (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
  2. mkaney says:

    The comments posted thus far are really disturbing. When I was in high school, fights happened all the time. I do not remember police coming to intervene, EVER. Other students, teachers, and administrators have some connection to students whose tempers are flared. They also are generally not trying to take a physical role unless absolutely necessary, instead they would try reason and THEN they might get in between the two people fighting. NO TEACHER OR ADMINISTRATOR EVER EVER EVER hit a female in the face.

    In general, students have LESS respect for police than they do teachers and administrators that they are familiar with. The police take a VERY combative approach to things, which has the effect of pushing emotions even higher. OF COURSE it is wrong for students to have attacked the officer, however there is more than one decision making role occurring here. First is the personal responsibility role, which is the situation the students were in. They failed in that role. But second is the policy making. If you understand human nature for what it is, and if you desire for the students to have the best possible life and not have it messed up too early, you follow policies which try to minimize problems. If you know that involving the police may ramp up emotions, result in criminal charges, and that the penalties for resisting a police officer are higher than those for resisting a teacher or administrator, then logic would dictate that you do not get police involved if at all possible.

    Nearly all fight situations when I was high school were resolved by calmly breaking the fight up and suspending the students involved. If the police were called, they were there ONLY to provide support to the school staff, maybe hold the students back, or wrestle them down if they needed to. But striking a student in the face is ASININE. I can’t recall a single incident that resulted in the actual arrest of a student.

    We seem to have created an authoritarian society where if you cross the line, all bets are off and anything goes in taking you down.

    (-14) 22 Total Votes - 4 up - 18 down
    • BeenThereDoneThat says:

      mkaney BIG difference from when you or I were in school. We have school shootings, knifing’s, etc. Gangs by far way more than yesterdays past.

      Yes striking a student would be wrong but did you see same tape I did? One girl is grabbing at his right arm, while the other that he punched is grabbing at his left AND he is there on his own with a crowd of same kids peers. Have you ever read about the physiology of mob violence? WTF would you do? Sit them down for cookies? Sorry but June and Ward Cleaver days are gone and sadly this is our new reality like it or not. I’m not happy one bit but you tell me how you would solve. It ain’t easy.

      (11) 17 Total Votes - 14 up - 3 down
      • mkaney says:

        No it’s NOT a big difference. That is a myth perpetuated by a media with very little integrity. In FACT, in California we are back to 1967 levels of crime.

        Now, I realize this is not specifically school-related criminality, and I will see what data I can find, but generally the public perceives the crime rate overall to be much much higher as well, when it’s not. There are far too many people involved in the legal process that have a financial interest to take anything they say at face value.

        I really wish there was more video footage so we can see how the cop to get involved when he first appeared on the scene.

        (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
    • Maxfusion says:

      “NO TEACHER OR ADMINISTRATOR EVER EVER EVER hit a female in the face.”

      Rubbish, women wanted a level playing field and so they’ll get it. You want the so called benefits men enjoy, but don’t want the downside. Sorry, it’s a two way street, and when you assault an officer of the law, you get the paw. She got exactly what she deserved.

      (14) 18 Total Votes - 16 up - 2 down
    • MaryMalone says:

      The high school I attended frequently had fights. We would NEVER have touched a police officer, however, because in the poor neighborhood where we lived, the city police officers would have beat the holy $hit out of us.

      Poor areas are prone to getting the officers with ethics problems…like multiple affairs, drinking and drug use, multiple domestic violence incidents, etc. Where I grew up certainly had all of the above and more.

      They often harassed us for no reason. If you were pulled over by an officer for any reason (even if it was bogus, and even if they arrested you for no cause), you kept your mouth shut because if you didn’t you would pay for it later on.

      My brother had a big mouth and the police harassed him, including punching him to the point that he had to have dental repair done. It didn’t bother my brother one bit. When you grow up in that kind of environment, you have a different normal than other people.

      Since the police could phase my brother, they started to take it out on me. I was an honors student, with a college scholarship already lined up. I drove an old VW bug. I was very respectful to the police because I was not the stupid kid in the family.

      However, the police would do screwy stuff like take the back seat out of the VW and heave it onto the side of the road. I would have to call triple-AA to get my seat put back in. They weren’t even searching for anything…they knew I was clean. It was just to hassle me because they knew it would get back to my brother.

      Still…if police officers get hit by anyone, IMO, they have the right to hit them back if that is what it takes to get them under control.

      (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down
  3. Rich in MB says:

    Really…..Cal Coast news is being Sexist by using the Cat Fight phrase….dispicable

    (-5) 7 Total Votes - 1 up - 6 down
  4. Maxfusion says:

    A thug, male or female is a thug, and should be put down without quarter. That said, with an administration that promotes and protects thuggery, it’s dicey business. (think Ferguson, Mo.). Good work officer, and a great left hook.

    (13) 17 Total Votes - 15 up - 2 down
    • MaryMalone says:

      I don’t believe women assailants should be treated any better than male assailants…but I don’t agree with making such broad strokes like “an administration that promotes and protects thuggery.”

      (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down

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