By Susan Tebben
A woman was taken into police custody, accused of punching a 16-year-old during an organized fight by 14 teenagers.
One of the teens is the nephew of the woman arrested.
Patsy J. Higgins-Lomax, 34, of 1847 Woodland Trace, is charged with assault, inciting violence, nine counts of child endangering and nine counts of contributing to the delinquency of minors — all first-degree misdemeanors. She was in the Mahoning County jail.
Police responded to the residence on a complaint of suspicious activity and said they found 14 teenagers in an organized fight in her garage.
According to the complaint, three carloads of juveniles had arrived at the residence. When police arrived, shouting, laughing and cheering could be heard coming from the garage, an Austintown police report stated.
A female, later determined to be an 18-year-old, was heard saying “there would be no hair pulling and that she would be the referee,” the report by Officer Valorie Saluga stated.
Saluga called for assistance. Police went to the back of the house and found a 19-year-old, who told police Higgins-Lomax had been encouraging the fighting in the garage.
While police gathered information, the garage overhead door was opened and Saluga reported witnessing Higgins-Lomax strike a 16-year-old in the face. Higgins-Lomax was wearing black and red fighting gloves at the time. Police took her into custody.
Higgins-Lomax said she “was working out in the basement and had no idea what was going on in the garage,” the police report stated. She also told police she struck the teen because she was shoved.
The 16-year-old had “several abrasions” on his body, and one of the 17-year-olds was bleeding from the nose.
The female who had been announcing the rules to the fight was identified and told police “they all got beefs and we are working them out,” the police report stated.
Five 18-year-olds, five 17-year-olds, three 16-year-olds and one 15-year-old were found in the garage.
All the juveniles were released to their parents or after speaking to their parents, and those who were injured declined medical treatment.