Middle school lunchroom fight results in criminal charge

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A fight in the lunchroom at Bennett’s Mill Middle School resulted in the student initiating the altercation being charged with simple battery and expelled for 10 days, or perhaps longer.

It was on Sept. 3 that a Fayetteville police School Resource Officer (SRO) for Bennett’s Mill Middle School responded to a physical altercation taking place between two eighth grade students in the lunchroom, said Fayetteville Police Department spokesperson Ann Marie Burdett.

Burdett said teachers arrived on the scene and broke up the altercation before the SRO arrived. The students were separated, and the officer obtained witness statements.

“The officer met with the student victim, who told the officer he was approached by the other male student at the lunch table to go to the bathroom with him so they could fight,” Burdett said. “The student/victim said he refused several times. He said the other student left the table and returned a short time later with a milk carton and threw it on him, and began punching him in the head, neck and back.”

The student/victim told the SRO he tried to protect himself from the punches, but the other student continued to punch him, then he was thrown to the ground by the other student and kicked several times. The student told the officer that was when teachers arrived and broke up the fight, said Burdett.

Burdett explained that the officer subsequently viewed the school’s video surveillance footage and confirmed the victim’s statement, along with statements provided by witnesses at the scene.

“The student that initiated contact with the complainant/victim was expelled for 10 days, and in the interim, it will be determined if they will be able to return to Bennett’s Mill at all this school year. The officer informed the mother of the same student that criminal charges would be filed against the student for simple battery. The student was turned over to their parent,” said Burdett.

Burdett said the complainant/victim’s parent was contacted, and the incident was explained to them. They were informed that the criminal charge would be taken out on the other student for initiating the assault.

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