Third charge added in high school fight |

Third charge added in high school fight

by Sheila Gardner

A third misdemeanor has been added to charges against an 18-year-old student accused of starting a fight last week at Douglas High School that resulted in injuries when a student and adult fell into a glass trophy case.

Daniel Chavez of Indian Hills has been charged with using gang colors, gestures or taunts to provoke a fight May 10 with a 16-year-old student.

Three others ” all minors ” also were arrested after the fight, which was broken up by staff and Douglas County sheriff’s officers who were summoned to the Minden school.

Chavez also was charged with affray and disturbance of a school.

He appeared in court Wednesday with a Spanish-speaking interpreter and East Fork Justice Jim EnEarl set his arraignment for May 23. EnEarl appointed lawyer Tod Young to represent him.

“You go to school there? You take classes? Why do you need an interpreter?” EnEarl asked.

Chavez said he had difficulty reading English.

He started to explain his side of what happened at the fight, but EnEarl stopped him and appointed lawyer Tod Young to represent him.

Assistant District Attorney Mike McCormick asked EnEarl to place Chavez on house arrest.

“We absolutely, absolutely believe this is all gang-related. He has been booted out of the high school and we want to make sure he’s not out creating more disturbances in this community,” McCormick said.

Chavez told the judge he lives in Indian Hills with his aunt. He said he has been a student at Douglas for two years and before that lived at South Lake Tahoe with his mother.

He admitted smoking marijuana a month ago, but denied using methamphetamine.

He tested negative Wednesday for the presence of drugs.

EnEarl placed Chavez under the supervision of the adult probation department and ordered him to stay away from the high school and the co-defendants in the fight.

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.