Students arrested in fight

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 19, 2001

Wednesday, September 19, 2001

The Natchez Democrat

NATCHEZ – Sixteen students were arrested at Natchez High School

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Wednesday after two fights broke out on the Seargeant S. Prentiss

Drive campus.

The fights may have stemmed from neighborhood factions in the

community, said Natchez-Adams Superintendent Dr. Carl Davis.

&uot;It’s more of a neighborhood situation that has … raised

its ugly head on a school campus, and we’re just going to have

to deal with them,&uot; he said.

Nine males between the ages of 15 and 17 and one 15-year-old

girl were charged with disturbing the peace by fighting.

Two juvenile males, a 15- and a 16-year-old, were charged with

aggravated assault.

Four adults were also arrested on charge of disturbing the

peace by fighting. They were Philip E. Bradley, 18, of 582 Lower

Woodville Road, Ronnie Montgomery, 19, of 212A Cloverdale Road,

Cedric J. Washington, 18, of 15 Terry Road and Charles E. Williams,

19, of 313B Dumas Drive.

&uot;About 11:30 (a.m.) the SRO (student resource) officers

observed a fight start near the cafeteria between two individuals,&uot;

said Natchez Police Chief Willie Huff. &uot;Then the fight escalated

into more than two individuals.&uot;

After the officers and school staff ended the fist fight and

took the students to the office, the four adults and the 10 juveniles

charged with disturbing the peace by fighting were arrested and

taken to the Natchez Police Department, Huff said.

Because of the location of the fight, school officials might

have parts of it recorded on videotape, Davis said.

The second fight began about half an hour later.

&uot;After that (first) fight at about twelve we had two individuals

that went into a classroom and jumped on a 15-year-old male victim

and caused him injuries to his head,&uot; Huff said.

The victim received five stitches to treat a cut over his left

eye, Huff said. His nose was also bleeding.

The two suspects in that fight were charged with aggravated

assault because of the extent of the injuries, Huff said.

Police are not certain of the reasons behind the fights but

the matter is under investigation.

&uot;It’s certainly a large enough fight in the school to

warrant further investigation into what the motivation was,&uot;

Huff said.

The police cannot say the fight involved certain gangs or locations

in the community but &uot;we feel that the fight was over neighborhood

group identities.&uot;

The mother of Ronnie Montgomery – one of four adults arrested

– said the tension among some students has gone on for years all

over the community. It might include disputes of county students

vs. city students, said Sarah Emory.

&uot;It’s just an ongoing brewing,&uot; she said.

The four adults were released on bonds Wednesday and the juveniles

were released to their parents.

The students have been suspended from school pending an investigation,

Davis said.

&uot;We’re going to deal with the problem until they realize

it’s just not going to happen,&uot; Davis said.