TALLADEGA -- A brawl at Talladega High School Wednesday morning resulted in some arrests and parents leading an exodus of students from the building, but no students or staff members were seriously injured and no weapons were involved.
Police records indicate that a total of 13 juveniles and one adult were arrested on charges including disorderly conduct and inciting to riot. The juveniles were high school students between the ages of 15 and 17. The lone adult was 19 years old and also listed as a high school student. All of those taken into custody were males.
One student involved in the altercation managed to avoid police Wednesday morning and remained at large Wednesday afternoon.
At a press conference Wednesday morning, City Schools Superintendent Dr. Donna King said there was an altercation involving at least 10 students “that we know of at this time. Right now, the staff is continuing to review the video to ascertain any additional information.”
TPD Chief Jason Busby said investigators were also reviewing the video and conducting interviews with those who had been involved. He said the fight appears to have started near the lobby of the main high school building.
A school resource officer was on duty at the school when the fight broke out, and called for backup from the Talladega Police Department.
“There are lots of rumors going around, but we’ll have to wait until after the investigation is finished to say what really started all this,” Busby said. “Until we’ve finished with that, I really can’t be more specific,” he said.
He added that officers were on the scene of the fight immediately, and he had heard no indication that there were weapons of any sort involved.
Phone lines at the high school were down all Wednesday morning, but King said this was unrelated to the altercation.
It was hard to estimate how many students were signed out by their parents or guardians, but there were long lines of cars coming onto campus by 9 a.m. King said the school would remain open and classes would continue on schedule nonetheless.
As more information emerged, King said the administration would be “comparing it with our policies and the student code of conduct” to determine what action, if any, might be taken against the students involved.
The TPD investigation remained ongoing Wednesday evening, without any definitive answer regarding the initial cause of the fight. There was an incident that led to shots being fired Tuesday night at the Talladega Downs apartment complex, but it was still too early Wednesday to say whether the two events were related.
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