Bomb Threat, Fights at Northern High Lead to 1 Injury, 8 Arrests
Posted September 10, 2007 12:15 p.m. EDT
Updated September 10, 2007 8:01 p.m. EDT
Durham, N.C. — One student was injured Monday morning when several fights broke out outside Northern High School after a bomb threat, authorities said.
Someone reported the anonymous threat at at 10:45 a.m., Durham County Sheriff Worth L. Hill said. The county's 911 center called the school, and Principal John Colclough ordered the school to be evacuated.
Several fights started as students waited on the football field and track for clearance to return to school, authorities said.
"Then, the fights just got bigger, where it seemed like a whole bunch of people were just jumping in randomly," said student Jessica Johnson. "A few people I saw that were trying to break up the fight – they got involved in fights, because as they were breaking it up, someone would just come along and punch them."
One student was injured during the fight. At least 43 patrol cars responded to the incident, bringing Durham County sheriff's deputies, Durham police officers and Highway Patrol troopers to help quell the melee.
No weapons were found as the students were dispersed, authorities said.
The injured student was taken to a nearby hospital and was expected to be released later in the afternoon, Hill said.
Two other students and a parent were transported to local hospitals, but Hill said their illnesses were heat-related or resulted from the excitement of the situation.
Eight people were arrested by Monday afternoon in connection with incident and charged with disorderly conduct:
- Brandon R Caroll, 17, of 5017 Stardust Drive
- Dominica Chappell, 16, of Dearborn Drive
- Anthony S. Clayton, 16, of 2513 Drexall Ave.
- Verdale L. Green, 18, of 2424 Glenbrook Drive
- Alvernon L. Lee, 17, of 3040 Forester St.
- Timothy J. Liles, 17, 2505 Dearborn Drive
- Terrell A. Motley, 16, of 937 Belvin Ave.
- Bradley L. Taborn, 18, of 719 Martin St.
All were held on $2,000 bonds except for Liles, who also faced charges of simple assault and affray, a lesser assault charge. His bond was set at $3,000.
The sheriff's office also issued two juvenile petitions, which are the first step in bringing minors under the purview of the juvenile justice system.
More charges are likely once authorities identify others who were involved, the sheriff's office said.
Authorities said they did not believe the fights were linked to the bomb threat, and the sheriff's office said it could not confirm the incident was gang-related.
Students were later allowed to return to class, but Northern High dismissed early – shortly after 1 p.m.
Extra deputies were expected to be on duty Tuesday, when school administrators expect the school will operate on a normal schedule.
Hill said the sheriff's office normally brings extra officers on duty when schools start to deal with situations such as this one.
"Unfortunately, this is becoming typical for high school students at the beginning of the school year," Hill said in a statement. "We normally keep extra personnel until the students settle down into their normal routines."