Students charged after melee with weapons www.privateofficer.com
Students charged after melee with weapons http://www.privateofficer.com
By: Bryan Hill
Security News Magazine
Police say that officers responded to the Murphy High School Wednesday in response to students fighting with weapons. When they arrived they found that two students were wielding broomsticks Wednesday attacked a Murphy High School teacher who was trying to break up a fight, Mobile police said. District Attorney John Tyson Jr. identified the two as the sisters of a former Murphy student who allegedly videotaped the beating of another teacher a year ago.
Eleventh-grade twins Dykesha and Dynesha Harris, 17, were arrested and charged with second-degree assault and disorderly conduct, police spokesman Officer Eric Gallichant said.
They are set for a bond hearing this morning before the same judge who is handling two criminal cases against their brother.
Two younger girls involved in the fight — ages 14 and 16 — were taken to Strickland Youth Center and charged as juveniles. They are scheduled for a 1 p.m. hearing today at Strickland, according to Tyson.
Police officers were called to the Midtown school about 7 a.m. Wednesday. School staff members reported that a disagreement
between the twins and the two younger girls erupted into a battle near the art building.
The twins armed themselves with broomsticks, according to police, while one of the younger girls brandished a glass perfume bottle and the other used a ceramic piggy bank as a weapon.
Tyson said the brooms belonged to the school’s cleaning crew and one of the sticks may have had a scraping tool at the end of it.
“It was what was handy, right then and there,” said Tyson, who serves as Mobile County’s chief prosecutor.
Paramedics treated the teacher and three of the girls at the scene for minor injuries, Gallichant said. One girl had a head laceration and the teacher’s elbow was injured, said Marcie McNeal, a school system spokeswoman.
All four students were suspended, McNeal said.
The 14-year-old faces a second-degree assault charge and the 16-year-old is accused of third-degree assault, Gallichant said. Both also face disorderly conduct charges, he said.
Last year, Murphy Principal Doug Estle wanted the Harris twins to transfer to other schools after their brother, Dominick Harris, was accused of videotaping an attack on a 61-year-old English teacher in May.
According to police, Harris used a cell phone camera to record another student ambushing the teacher outside her classroom and striking her with a powerful punch to her face.
Estle could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
City Councilman Fred Richardson helped the twins’ mother get the girls back into Murphy. Richardson also sought unsuccessfully to intervene on behalf of Dominick Harris, who was expelled after the teacher assault.
Richardson declined to comment Wednesday.
Dominick Harris has been accused in another crime since the teacher assault last year. He remained jailed Wednesday on allegations of involvement in a March 11 drive-by shooting on Glenn Avenue.
Harris had accepted a deal to plead guilty to being a youthful offender in the Murphy case, which could have resulted in a probation-only sentence.
But when he was arrested again, Presiding Mobile County Circuit Judge Charles Graddick ruled that Harris would no longer be guaranteed a probation-only sentence.
If convicted, he could get up to three years of incarceration, although his record would be sealed. His trial is set for May 28 in Circuit Court.
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