Tape shows former students involved in Woodlawn brawl Principals review video of halftime incident

High Schools

December 18, 1996|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF ZHC DvA

Videotape reveals that about 20 former and a few current Woodlawn students were involved in a brawl during halftime of Monday night's Woodlawn-Randallstown boys basketball game, Randallstown's principal said yesterday.

According to a police report, two Baltimore County police officers allegedly were attacked after entering the stands in an attempt to break up a fight between two young women. Instead, the smaller altercation grew into a melee which forced the game to be terminated.

Yesterday, the principals of Woodlawn and Randallstown began reviewing the videotape.

Randallstown principal Barry Williams said he "spent about an hour with [Woodlawn principal] Dr. James Wilson and four assistant administrators," sifting through a video submitted by a Woodlawn basketball team assistant.

"They [Woodlawn administrators] had a yearbook and began matching names and faces. They were able to identify 20 individuals. It's pretty clear in the tape where the incident started," said Williams.

Wilson could not be reached for comment.

Kevin Novak, spokesman for the Baltimore County police department, said Officer Kevin Scott's report states that he and Cpl. Owen Watson were assaulted by several people after entering the stands in an attempt to break up a fight between two young women. The report states the officers defended themselves with pepper spray.

"They [officers] were being punched, hit, pulled -- at that point, it becomes a self-defense order of business," said Novak. "Both officers suffered minor cuts and scrapes to their face, and I'm sure that several people felt the effects of the pepper spray."

The crowd inside the gym, estimated at 400, began to move outside the school, where several other fights broke out in the parking lot, the report said. A school window was shattered before approximately 25 police units arrived to disperse the crowd.

Ned Sparks, executive secretary of the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association, said the state association makes available a handbook that deals with event security.

Sparks said that crowd control is the responsibility of individual schools and that principals and athletic directors determine security, usually in the form of uniformed guards or off-duty police officers.

It is unclear whether the game will be continued, but if it is, fans may have to be limited to parents and students, said Baltimore County school system spokesman Don Mohler.

"It's a shame, but if necessary, it may come to that," Mohler said. "Dr. Wilson has done a remarkable job at Woodlawn in the year and a half he's been there, and he's determined to ensure a safe and orderly environment for his students."

Pub Date: 12/18/96

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