5 arrested, 9 injured at Fort Worth middle school in brawl involving students, staff
Fort Worth Texas Feb 26 2020 Five Rosemont Middle School students were taken into custody Tuesday morning in the aftermath of a brawl involving both students and staff members that caused the school to go into a lockout and left nine people with minor injuries, authorities said.
Four students were charged with assault on a police officer, the department said. One was charged with interference.
Five staff members, three students and one police officer suffered minor injuries, according to a Medstar spokesman. Medics treated them at the school, at 1501 W. Seminary Drive.
The fight began when three to five students were arguing in a hallway around 9:15 a.m. and a school resource officer intervened, leading to a scuffle, according to Clint Bond, a Fort Worth Independent School District spokesman. The fight escalated, and eight staff members became involved trying to break it up, including the campus monitor, civilian security guard and school principal, he said.
Seventh-grader Efren Acosta, 12, provided the Star-Telegram with a Snapchat video that was circulating around the school Tuesday, which shows adults and students entangled in a fight in the middle of a hallway and a crowd of students surrounding it. It appears like multiple adults — including the school resource officer — are wrapping their arms around the students to try to separate them. The video, at times, is a blur of bodies and it’s hard to tell who is fighting whom.
The school went into a lockdown for about 45 minutes after the fight, meaning students had to sit in the corner of their classroom, Acosta said. They then went into a lockout, where class can continue but the doors need to be locked.
Acosta was sitting in his classroom waiting for first period to begin Tuesday when he could hear running in the halls along with a loud whistle, the noise staff use to alert other staff members to a fight. He later was shown the video that was going around.
“I was in shock because I didn’t really expect that to happen in this school … I think Rosemont’s pretty good,” Acosta said. “The fact that all that happened, and teachers were getting punched and hurt — it was just shocking to me.”
His mother got an alert about the incident from the school district and decided to bring him home, which many other parents were doing on Tuesday. The school was back to normal status as of about 11:10 a.m., Bond said.
As Acosta was walking toward the attendance office with his father, he said they saw another fight in the hallway involving a teacher trying to break up a group of girls.
“After all that, parents were just crying because they wanted to get their kids out,” he said. “It was just chaos.”
Fights at Rosemont aren’t that uncommon, according to Acosta, but the brawl Tuesday morning sent shock waves through the middle school community, leaving concerned parents frantically pulling their students from school.
The circle drive outside of Rosemont was mostly empty around 10:30 a.m. but quickly filled up with cars. Parents stood in lines outside of the school waiting to be let in to collect their kids.
Cynthia Renovato, 34, arrived at the school around 10 a.m. to drop off her 13-year-old daughter for her second-period class when she noticed police cars on campus. She waited until she got the OK to let her daughter into the school.
“It’s scary because they don’ t let us know anything until we see all the cop cars coming and going …” Renovato said. “I know they’re busy inside protecting the kids, but we’re out here trying to figure out what’s going on also.”
A police call log showed the initial report was that multiple students attacked a security guard and the school principal. A preliminary investigation revealed there was a “large gathering/fight” and “several kids ran away from the school,” according to Officer Daniel Segura, a Fort Worth police spokesman.
No weapons were recovered at the school, Bond said.
But extra security was set to be at Rosemont for the remainder of the school day Tuesday.