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Two people have been arrested, including a father of a student, in connection with a large brawl at an Arizona high school this week.
Willie Smith, 40, faces a charge of disrupting an educational institution and a 15-year-old boy is charged with disorderly conduct-fighting, the Tucson Police Department told Fox News.
Smith was called to pick up his two sons from Tucson High Magnet School after they had a disturbance with another group on Monday, KOLD-TV reported. Court documents obtained by the news outlet said Smith was advised by school staff and safety officers to exit the school through a back exit to avoid a confrontation.
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Smith allegedly refused and took his sons through a courtyard during the school’s lunch break.
“If it’s going down, it’s going down here,” he allegedly said, according to court documents.
As the three walked through the courtyard, an exchange between the boys and a group of students escalated into a fight. Video footage of the melee posted to social media shows students wildly throwing punches and a man in a red t-shirt being attacked while authorities try to intervene.
Tucson Unified School District Superintendent Gabriel Trujillo told KGUN-TV that school security cameras show Smith with his hands around a student’s neck.
“The sight of the adult, the parent, attacking the student, one of the friends of the large group of friends that was in this student’s camp, if you will, at that point became a flashpoint and at that point, all bets were off,” he told the news station.
Authorities said Smith told them he didn’t want to leave out the back gate because the school never told him what his sons did wrong.
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“He agreed he could have handled things better,” police said.
No weapons were brought to the school’s campus and no Tucson police officers used any force, the department told Fox News.