Fight Ended Before Guard Could End It, Boss Says

September 23, 1990

The supervisor of a security guard who failed to break up a fight at a Sept. 8 Wilde Lake High School dance said last week that the fight was over before the guard could reach the combatants.

Charles Ellenberger, director of the All-County Security Agency, responded to a charge made by Kevin Peacock, a delegate to the Howard County Association of Student Councils and a senior at Wilde Lake.

Peacock, who was neither involved nor a witness, told the county school board Sept. 13 that the incident was one of several at Wilde Lake in which guards have failed to take action.

But Ellenberger, who also is a county police corporal, said "that certainly is not the case" with Sept. 8 incident.

"I had no doubt in my mind the officer did everything he was supposed to do. When the officer walked outside . . . the fight was over, the student was down, and the kids were running away," he said.

The guard, an off-duty county corrections officer, helped the injured student into the building, where school staff took care of him, Ellenberger said.

Ellenberger said school administrators "have nothing but praise for the way the officer handled himself."

The guard was the only officer from All-County Security on duty that night because a second officer had called in sick, Ellenberger said.

Another service, CES Security of Randallstown, was scheduled to provide guards the night of the dance, but was unable to, Patti P. Vierkant, public information officer for the school system, reported earlier.

The Wilde Lake administrator who deals with the security company, assistant principal Barry O'Dell, did not return a reporter's phone calls Friday. A secretary for county schools public information office said no one was available Friday to comment on the incident.

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