6 charged in videotaped melee at Upper Darby High School

UPPER DARBY, Pa. - October 17, 2013

It was just after 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday October 8th when police say two groups of students began fighting in the hallway just outside the school cafeteria.

A 30-year-old teacher attempted to intervene, but was punched, knocked unconscious, taken to the ground and jumped on. He suffered a concussion and torn ligaments to his left leg.

School security quickly jumped in and broke up the fight. School administrators then contacted police, handing over video footage of the incident to investigators.

Police announced Thursday morning the arrest of six students involved in the fight - one 14-year-old, two 16-year-olds, two 17-year-olds, and an 18-year-old. All six were charged with Simple Assault, Recklessly Endangering Another Person, Harassment, and Conspiracy. In addition, all have been suspended from school.

The 18-year-old, identified as Jermaine Richardson of Upper Darby, is also facing Aggravated Assault charges. Police say he is the student who assaulted the teacher.

Richardson, who is being charged as an adult, is being held on $30,000 bail.

Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood believes two groups with an ongoing feud got into the fight in the cafeteria and it spilled into the hallway.

"The goal is to protect these kids," Chitwood said.

There is a law enforcement presence at the school daily.

Upper Darby bike cops patrol the school and school officials say they have 12 on their internal security force.

The school is cooperating and notified police two days after the incident. Police say the 6 were suspended, now it's up to the court.

"They're thugs so they're getting locked up period. Then hopefully the school is doing what they got to do," Chitwood said.

The Upper Darby School District released the following statement:

The Upper Darby School District acknowledges the events of October 8, 2013 and has been in constant contact with the Upper Darby Police Department since the day of the incident. We have conducted our internal investigation and the Upper Darby Police Department is now handling the criminal investigation. The school district is not at liberty to share information about the students involved in the altercation but will continue to aid the Upper Darby Police Department in their criminal investigation. The school district will follow School Code and our Board Policies in determining the high school's course of action with those students involved. We value our teachers and respect their privacy, and, therefore, will not share specifics about the teacher involved in the incident. We are thankful that no students or teachers were seriously injured in the altercation.

No one else was injured in the incident.

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