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Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office responded to two separate Hillsborough County Public School campuses yesterday resulting in multiple arrests stemming from fighting among students.
Wharton High School
Wharton High School witnessed a string of student disturbances yesterday that prompted a larger than normal response and resources from Hillsborough County Sheriff’s office.
There were 37 deputies from street crimes, patrol, community outreach, school resources, motor units and supervisors that responded to the school located at 20150 Bruce B Downs Boulevard in the early afternoon of February 7 after another fight broke out.
Several large fights occurred last week and again on Tuesday. On Wednesday, school Administrators asked the Sheriff’s office to respond to their campus when it became apparent that more fights were potentially brewing. While it is unclear what the motivations behind the incidents were, it is believed that neighborhood issues between individual students have been spilling onto the campus.
Below is a synopsis of events that occurred on Wharton’s campus:
Friday, February 2nd.
At the end of school, a large fight erupted on the bus ramp. It involved approximately 20 students. Eleven arrests are pending based on a review of school surveillance video for that fight.
Tuesday, February 6th:
1:00 p.m. A fight broke out just outside of the cafeteria. Deputies and administrators broke up the fight, detained the subjects involved and dispersed the student crowd which had formed around the fight.
1:15 p.m. A separate fight broke out in the center courtyard/mosaic area of the school involving several students and causing another crowd of students to form.
3:00 p.m. During school dismissal two separate fights broke out at the school. Multiple patrol units who were already on scene in reference to the two previous incidents responded and broke up the fight.
One student was arrested and charged with Battery on a Specified Employee, Affray/Disruption of a School Function. Six other students were arrested with Affray/Disruption of a School Function. There were seven arrests on Tuesday.
Wednesday, February 7th:
1:00 p.m. A fight occurred. One student was charged with Misdemeanor Battery, Resist w/o Violence, and Disruption of a School Function. A second student was charged with Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer, Resisting Arrest w/ Violence, and Disruption of a School Function.
2:00 p.m. A deputy was spat on by a student as he was trying to talk him out of a fight. That student was charged with Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer and Resisting Arrest. Deputies remained on scene to ensure the safety of faculty and students until the school had cleared with a special, staggered bell release at normal time.
There were a total of three arrests on Wednesday.
Tampa Bay Technical School
At approximately 3:10 p.m. on February 7, Deputy Nate Johnson was called to Tampa Bay Technical High School, 6410 Orient Road, in reference to trespassers on the property. Upon his arrival, he was unable to locate anyone and reported to the main office. He observed three males fighting in the hallway in front of the office. He gave verbal commands for them to stop, but they kept fighting and refused to adhere to his commands. He removed his OC spray and shook it, giving further commands to stop. The three males continued to fight and he deployed the OC spray in all three of their faces.
One of the subjects gave up and ran to the office. The other two continued to fight. Deputy Johnson again deployed his spray and then physically attempted to break them apart. The two individuals were no on the ground continuing their fight. An off-duty TPD Officer was on the campus, in uniform, for unrelated matter. He observed Deputy Johnson on the ground and ran to assist. Together, they were able to separate and handcuff the two subjects, then handcuff the individual who ran into the office. No injuries were sustained during this incident and Deputy Johnson and the TPD Officer assisted the arrestees with flushing their eyes with water. All three were arrested and charged with Affray, Resist w/o Violence and one had an added charge of Trespass on School Grounds.