Santa Barbara County – In what must have been a scene reminiscent of the classic 1955 Glenn Ford-Sidney Poitier movie “Blackboard Jungle”, north Santa Barbara County’s Righetti High School exploded during the lunch hour with a series of fistfights that ultimately needed uniformed law enforcement personnel to quell.
According to Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Kelly Hoover, it was just after the noon hour when two students engaged one another in fisticuffs in the quad area “where more than one thousand students were located for the lunch period.” As per usual, the school’s own security staff quickly broke the punch-out up, and the designated School Resource Deputy took over to discuss the matter with the two combatants.
Just then, another pugilistic event erupted which required official adult intervention, but as the Deputy was attempting to restrain “the primary aggressor in that fight” they both fell to the ground. At that point, as detailed by Hoover, “a large crowd gathered and began yelling obscenities at the deputy and threw food, food containers, and bottles at him.” Things quickly progressed on a downhill path as the crowd of students made sincere attempts to surge forward to kick the downed Deputy.
Shortly thereafter, units of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department arrived on scene to restore order, an objective made difficult by a female student who physically resisted a uniformed deputies attempts to restrain her. Within moments, ‘her friends surrounded the deputy and pushed and hit him,” apparently willing to test the restraint of an armed member of a department with a history of significant use of deadly force. In his moment of restraint, however, the deputy did manage a clean left hook to the kisser of one of the rampaging female students, rendering her immediately unconscious; threat eliminated.
Seriously outnumbered up to that point, law enforcement reinforcements soon arrived with members of the Santa Maria Police Department, CHP, Santa Barbara County Fire Department, the Santa Barbara County Air Support Unit, the Sheriff’s Special Enforcement Team, a Sheriff’s K-9 unit, and the Santa Barbara County Probation Department swarming onto campus.
With such a show of force, order was quickly restored, the campus was placed on “lockdown” status, students were eventually safely escorted off campus, and an investigation was begun immediately. Pursuant to the findings of those deputies on the scene, four juvenile males and two juvenile females were arrested and transported to Santa Barbara County Juvenile Hall to be booked on charges of resisting arrest resulting in injury to a deputy, battery on a peace officer, battery on another student on school grounds, assault on a school employee, possession of a knife on school grounds, possession of marijuana on school grounds, and resisting and obstructing officers in the performance of their duties.
Those arrested will presumably need to explain themselves thoroughly when they apply for admission to Stanford and Yale.
Photo: Courtesy KEYT.com
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