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8 arrested in melee outside Harding High School

Published: Thu, September 3, 2009 @ 12:10 a.m.

‘There was great potential for somebody to get hurt,’ the police chief said.

By Ed Runyan

WARREN — About 50 students fighting in five “pockets” outside Warren G. Harding High School and spilling across Elm Road resulted in eight arrests but only a couple of minor injuries, Warren’s police chief said.

The six Warren police officers working at about 2 p.m. Tuesday responded to the school parking lot when Tim Brown, the school’s resource officer, called for help, Chief Tim Bowers said.

Additional officers with the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitives Task Force who were in Warren serving arrest warrants also assisted, he said.

The scene became dangerous, Bowers said, because some youths refused to comply with officers when they tried to break up the fights.

“They tried to challenge the police,” Bowers said. At least one student involved in the fighting and at least one student not involved climbed onto the back of police officers, and one officer’s weapon was knocked from him onto the ground momentarily, he added.

Seeing youths wanting to “turn their aggression toward the police” represents a “change in the social norms” of the community, Bowers said.

One girl suffered bumps and bruises in the parking lot of a former restaurant across Elm Road from the school, and one of the people arrested suffered a bruise to his head but was treated at the scene, police said. No weapons were found among the teens, he noted.

“They did a good job,” Bowers said of the police officers. “Nobody got hurt, and there was great potential for somebody to get hurt.”

The police report from the incident had not been completed by late Wednesday afternoon and was not being released until Thursday, a records official said.

Bowers said it appears that the fighting was related to an incident that occurred in February involving a young man who was beaten up and his bicycle stolen.

An elderly man residing off Atlantic Street a short distance from the school said fights on school grounds, in the vacant restaurant parking lot across the street and in other places just across Elm Road from the school occur about once a week.

He said Tuesday’s melee, which seemed to last for an hour, appeared to involve 300 to 400 youths, many of whom were just watching, he said.

The man, who has lived there for about 25 years, says he’s seen a lot more fighting involving youths walking home after school in the last five to six years.

“If you ask them not to cut through the yard, they’ll swear at you, like, ‘Who do you think you are? I can come through this property if I want,’” he said.

Many of the neighbors now deploy dogs, possess firearms and stay inside at various times.

Aaron Schwab, communications director for the school district, said fights do not occur on school property on a weekly basis, though he can’t speak for what happens off school grounds.

He said he believes Tuesday’s incident became more noticeable than other fights because it occurred at the end of the school day, when many vehicles were traveling in and out of the school lot.

The fight created a “bottleneck” for the traffic, he said.



1Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years, 10 months ago

"Bowers said it appears that the fighting was related to an incident that occurred in February involving a young man who was beaten up and his bicycle stolen."

They take what they want and there is no work ethic just a handout mentality . Their parents have taught them well .

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2PhillandGabby(2 comments)posted 6 years, 10 months ago

I am not as worried about the kids fighting each other or how they talk back to the adults. I'm worried about them fighting the cops. Some blame tv, movies, or video games... I blame the media and the parents. Does anyone remember the article from August 6, 2009 called "Citizens have right to talk back to police"? There are three things in this world I will always respect and instinctively fear: God, my parents, and the police.

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3Freethinker(24 comments)posted 6 years, 10 months ago

Students were told to move along and not interfer. Those that did not were arrested. They even fought back against the officers.

The so called parents are now filing complaints. Perhaps arresting the parents may also be in order.

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4saysithowitiz(98 comments)posted 6 years, 10 months ago

These students do not realize how lucky they are to be in the U.S. Behavior like this in most other countries would lead to jail time, hard labor and even torture. I think it's time to reconsider the "cruel and unusual" punishment law.

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5stoptheblame(8 comments)posted 6 years, 10 months ago

UnionForever according to the Tribune some of the comments someone said the kids were white. Why blame the black kids for everthing that happens. They're know angels but the white kids fight each other all the time too. I see it in my neighborhood where the white kids fight each other over something stupid. If you don't know don't assume.

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6dbinnc(51 comments)posted 6 years, 10 months ago

Ahhh... the future of the Mahoning Valley. I'm so proud to be from there. There Animals, their parents are Animals and their soon to be kids will be Animals. They just don't get it and it's sad. I say you stop giving them money for sitting at home and make them do something with their lives.

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7redvert(2239 comments)posted 6 years, 10 months ago

dbinnc, the problem is that if anything changes it will be that they will just receive more of the taxpayer's money!

They will continue to vote for whomever gives the biggest handout.

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8Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years, 10 months ago

"Bowers said it appears that the fighting was related to an incident that occurred in February involving a young man who was beaten up and his bicycle stolen."

The problem is tolerance . The criminal culture must be either tolerated or defeated . If the beating and the bicycle theft was tolerated and no issue raised there would not have been a fight . The criminal culture rules the streets and the attack on the police reinforced that fact .

If society can't control its criminals then the criminals will control society .

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9borylie(949 comments)posted 6 years, 10 months ago

We all worry about our feedom. Think about these neighbors that can't even enjoy their homes when these idiots cut thru their yards and show no respect. As a white person try taking a walk down Hillman St. in Youngstown, or the Brier Hill projects in the day light and would you ever consider going there at night? We don't have the freedom to go where we want, when we want. This is the type of life that liberals have created by throwing my money at the problem rather than hit the problem between the eyes. All you libs that want to jump all over this post, go for it. But if you really wanted to see where this society is headed and how we got there, take a honest look at liberalism and for what the word means.

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10dbinnc(51 comments)posted 6 years, 10 months ago

"redvert" your right. I'm a DEM and I just can't stand it anymore, I won't go as far as switching to the GOP, but I'm leaning toward becoming an Independent because I am sick of all the handouts. I'm not saying I disagree with what Obama is doing because he had to do something with the mess he was handed. But it's the welfare system we have lived with for years. For me it came to a head during Katrina when people wouldn't leave and then blamed the government, while the Bush adminstration royally screwed up, people have to learn to take care of themselves. And then I hear these stores of people on welfare their whole lives and their kids are getting welfare and thier grandchildren are high school drop outs and now getting welfare. It makes me sick. I say at the very least make them punch a time card and work for 20 hrs a week cleaning a park, or painting a bench, or something. At least the government will get something in return. Give them the same amount of money and benifits as they recieve now but make them earn it. Infact set up some kind of bonus system that they can earn more. Oh, and one more thing, have random drug testing, if you fail you get no money. One last thing, cap the amount of money you can get per kid. After 4 kids you get no more money.
If someone whats to run for public office with this plan, I'll move to their area.

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11CathySue1960(29 comments)posted 6 years, 10 months ago

“They tried to challenge the police,” When I went to school I cant remember one time this sort of thing happened. This is what happened when discipline was taken out of the schools and away from the parents. Now all the teachers or parents have to do is "look" at these kids the wrong way and they yell "abuse" and call police. Try and take away their "I-Pods, their computers, their TV;s, Cellphones etc (things we never had) as punishment and they freak and get in your face...challenge teachers and parents both. Parents and teachers are afraid to do anything and the kids know they can get away with it. Spank your child in public (not a beating) and someone calls the police on you....

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12TB(1167 comments)posted 6 years, 10 months ago

"As a white person try taking a walk down Hillman St. in Youngstown:

I've done this and been fine, as recently as last week. Just sayin'

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13janie145(2 comments)posted 6 years, 10 months ago

To set the record straight the kids were not black and thew ones that started the fight were not from Harding. They were trespassing on school property and deserve to be arrested. Why is it when the students from Harding do something good it goes unnoticed but let something like this happen and the media is all over it.I didn't see the media when our band played for Veterans day downtown last year,when they marched in the Halloween parade,or even when they played with the Packard band a few weeks ago. A few bad apples don't spoil the whole bunch.

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14TB(1167 comments)posted 6 years, 10 months ago

Agreed Janie. I know a lot of great kids who go to Harding who get little or no recognition because they don't seek it.

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