Final Update Lakewood High School students, parents arrested after large fight

12 11 2007

LAKEWOOD, N.J. (AP) — Police arrested about a dozen students and adults at a large fight at the local public high school that involved up to 150 students at its peak.

The fight started at about 10:45 a.m. between two non-students in the Lakewood High School parking lot, but soon spread to the nearby lunchroom, Lakewood Deputy Police Chief Charles Smith said during an afternoon news conference.

Students told local newspapers that they thought there might be a gang-connection with the fight; Smith said gang activity was one of several possible motives detectives were investigating.

The most serious injury involved a student who needed stitches for facial injuries, Lakewood police Lt. Michael Mooney said.

About 75 officers from Lakewood and surrounding towns were needed to break up the brawl, Smith said.

Police and students told The Star-Ledger of Newark that students were hitting police officers and one another, and throwing chairs and tables. Police had to bring in dogs and pepper spray at least one student.

Charges against the students and adults included trespassing, disorderly conduct, fighting and tumultuous behavior, Smith said.

Adults arrested included the two non-students blamed for starting the fight, as well as parents who came to the scene after hearing about the fight.

At the afternoon news conference, school district Superintendent Edward Luick said officials decided not to cancel school, and not to notify parents, because the school wanted to maintain order.

The high school has had fights before, Luick said, but never one that required such a large police response.

Luick said students involved in the fight faced penalties including suspension. The school will be back in session Tuesday, Luick said.

Lakewood has been the site of heightened tensions in recent years, with its Orthodox Jewish and Hispanic communities expanding as its black population shrinks.

Last month, a 37-year-old Lakewood man was arrested and charged with attempted murder in the beating of an Orthodox rabbi.

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One response

13 11 2007
sara B

What a crazy story .,

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