Police: 8 students charged following riot-like food fight

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STAMFORD -

Several students have been charged after a food fight at Westhill High School turned into a near-riot.

Stamford police say eight students are facing charges and that arrests are pending for another three or four students.

The incident left a school resource officer and a teacher hurt.

Video shows what school administrators call a planned food fight that broke out in the courtyard next to the cafeteria last Friday.

Police tell News 12 that a resource officer was hit in the head by a full soda can and went to the hospital for a concussion and to receive stitches.

They also say a teacher, who was trying to guide kids to safety, was trampled by a mass of students when a mob tried to rush through a doorway.

"I'm not going to categorize it as a food fight, it was pretty much a riot situation," says Sgt. Joseph Kennedy.

The incident had been in the works for days, according to police. News 12 is told school administrators learned of the plan from social media and tried to prevent it. They say they warned the students who posted about the food fight that there would be consequences. School officials say the students just moved the food fight from the cafeteria to the courtyard.

Security video captured the incident. Police say after going through the footage, they've arrested eight students ages 14-to-17 years old. They are facing charges of first-degree rioting, breach of peace, reckless endangerment and assault on a police officer.

"There's one point in the video where a student wheels out a garbage can and dumps the garbage can out into the courtyard, basically supplying ammunition to all these people that are around," says Kennedy. "They proceed to pick up apples, water bottles, cans and start heaving them around the crowd."

The principal of Westhill High School sent out a message to the community Tuesday night, saying what happened Friday "cannot be repeated," and as a result, they've implemented several changes, including closing the courtyard during lunch.

The principal has also set up forums for next week with teachers, students and parents to discuss what happened.

 

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