Published: Friday, October 5, 2007
Police arrest cheerleading coach during melee at Chaney High
More arrests will likely
follow, police say.
YOUNGSTOWN An estimated 50 Chaney High School students were sprayed with chemical Mace, and a woman was arrested in the commotion that followed a fight at the school about 3 p.m. Thursday.
"There was about 200 or 300 people outside," said Youngstown Patrolman Dave Wilson. "I don't know how many fights there were. We were trying to disperse the kids."
The woman, identified by students as a freshman cheerleading coach, was arrested after Wilson was knocked over when a door was opened. Officers reported she was upset students were being Maced. She was charged with assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest and inducing panic.
Wilson said he would take himself to the hospital for treatment of injuries to his shoulder.
Police units have been responding to fights at the school on a daily basis, Wilson said. Five students from the school were charged in two fights Tuesday. More arrests will likely follow in Thursday's fight, Wilson said.
How bad things are
"For some reason this year, it's been off the hook," he said. "These kids have been fighting every week."
Wilson blamed gang activity and lack of parental supervision for the problems.
Chaney dean Peter Lymber said that a single fight between two freshman girls instigated the incident. He said that he thinks the event might have been "blown out of proportion" because it took place as school was being dismissed. Both girls are facing 10 days' suspension and possible expulsion, he said.
"We have a camera and we're going to review the footage tomorrow," he said. "We want to send a clear picture that this is not condoned."
Lymber attributed Thursday's fight to students' immaturity. He said there are a high number of underclassmen enrolled this year.
"Ninety-nine percent of our kids at Chaney are great kids," he said. "We have a small group that cause problems."