High school cafeteria brawl results in charges and injuries

JONESBORO, Ark. – A school resource officer at Nettleton High School helped stop a fight that injured several, including the assistant principal who was trying to help break up the brawl. Two juvenile suspects were cited for their role in the incident (juvenile names were redacted in the report).

On Monday, Officer Sherldan Watts was on lunch duty at NHS Cafeteria when he noticed Assistant Principal Judy Holoway standing in the middle of a group of students with her arms outstretched, trying to keep two parties apart. Watts and the Dean of Students made their way over. Two students, Arrestee #1 (15, 5’11”, 250 pound male) and Arrestee #2 (15, 5’9″, 260 pound male), were at the center of the heated conflict that had attracted attention from a number of other teens. The officer attempted to separate Arrestee 2 from the group.

“As I began walking him to the back of the cafeteria, he was upset and yelling and then the students behind me had a collective gasp and began yelling,” Watts wrote in the report. “…When I turned my head to see what had just escalated behind me, Arrestee #2 spun away from me and attempted to run back into the group I had separated him from and I once again had to grab him in an attempt to restrain him and in doing so we both tripped and went to the ground.”

The teen signaled that he was good but he was still angrily yelling and cursing, the officer reported.

During that same time, Assistant Principal Holoway was attempting to keep the parties from one another when the report said Arrestee #1 grabbed her by the wrist, twisting her wrist, and pushed her aside. He then came over the top of the Dean of Students and punched another victim, 15, in the back of the head. Other students took control of the teenage victim, the report said, while the dean escorted Arrestee #1 out of the cafeteria. On his way out, he shoved a knee into the sheet rock and punched a hole into the sheet rock, as well.

Arrestee #1 was suspended from school for ten days and cited to court for third degree battery and criminal mischief. No space was available for juvenile males at the juvenile detention center. He was released to his mother.

Arrestee #2 was suspended from school for ten days and cited to court for disorderly conduct. He, too, was released to his mom.

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