published Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

Chattanooga Central High School fight gang-related, arrest report says

  • photo
    Central High School in Chattanooga
    Photo by Allison Carter

A high school brawl that ended with seven students being arrested involved gang-related slurs, according to an arrest report.

The skirmish that broke out Tuesday in the cafeteria at Central High School spawned multiple fights on the school campus involving dozens of students, according to the report and multiple witness accounts.

"It was like a riot," Central High sophomore Karon Williams said.

Students outside the school Tuesday afternoon said the fight stemmed from a feud between several students that had carried over from a fight during Christmas break.

While Hamilton County sheriff's deputies were escorting the students to the front of the building, several shouted insults against two rival street gangs -- Young Money Boys and Cutthroat, the report states.

Hamilton County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Janice Atkinson said she could not confirm whether the fight was gang-related.

"It was a large confrontation between two groups," she said, adding that the two groups of students have had a long-standing acrimony.

Central officials did not return repeated requests for comment Tuesday.

Marvin Lott, director of High Schools for the Hamilton County Department of Education, said he was looking into the matter but could not comment yet on details of the incident.

Of the seven students arrested, 18-year-old Tyler Scott was the only adult. He was charged with disorderly conduct.

The other students were transferred to the Hamilton County Juvenile Detention Center. All were charged with disorderly conduct, and one was charged with vandalism because of damage to school property, Atkinson said.

Both Lott and Williams said fights at the high school are rare.

The fight erupted inside the school about 11 a.m., then migrated outside, Williams said. A crowd of students from all different grade levels joined in the fight in a matter of minutes, shouting and throwing punches, he said.

"All of the students involved had to be physically removed from the area and still would not calm down," the arrest report reads.

Atkinson said no students had to receive medical treatment, and that no weapons were used in the fight or to subdue the students.

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