Six arrested at high school fight in Santa Maria
November 20, 2014
A 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.