18-year-old charged in Douglas High School commons brawl
An 18-year-old Douglas High School student was charged with two misdemeanors following a fight at the school Thursday in which a 15-year-old combatant was injured by flying glass from a shattered trophy case.
Daniel Chavez of Indian Hills was charged with affray and disturbance of a school.
He appeared in East Fork Justice Court on Friday and presiding Judge Richard Glasson continued an arraignment until Wednesday to provide the suspect with a Spanish-speaking interpreter.
Chavez is the only adult to face charges in the incident which broke out Thursday in the commons area during a class change when the halls were filled with students.
According to court documents, Chavez and a 16-year-old student began fighting in a hallway. Dean of Students Jeff Evans and special education aide Larry Minihan broke up the fight and were escorting the two to the office.
A 15-year-old student was following the apprehended students to the office when a 16-year-old came out of the crowd and blind-sided the 15-year-old with a closed fist punch.
Those two started fighting and Coach Mike Rippee grabbed the 15-year-old. Rippee and the student crashed into the school’s trophy display case shattering the glass.
The student suffered lacerations on top of his head near his forehead, both wrists and forearms. He was treated by the school nurse, the East Fork paramedics and taken by his parents to a medical center for treatment.
Rippee suffered a laceration to the back of his left hand.
According to deputies’ reports, three of the four admitted belonging to rival gangs and said the fight was precipitated by a racial epithet.
The fourth student said he didn’t belong to a gang but wanted to help his friend, according to documents.
Four Douglas County sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene.
Chavez was taken to Douglas County Jail where he bailed out on $3,500 bond.
The three juveniles were released to their parents, pending charges.
Assistant Principal Tom Morgan said a student who initiates a fight faces a five-day suspension for the first offense. On a second infraction, the student may be recommended for expulsion which is determined by the school board.