Maryland

UPDATE: Several boys arrested in Bennett High School melee

SALISBURY, Md. - Officials say that a fight broke out at James M. Bennett High School in Salisbury on Wednesday morning.

According to the Wicomico County Sheriff's Office, around 10 AM, a fight broke out after two students confronted another student in the main hallway at Bennett High School.

Investigation found that these two students began assaulting the student. A school resource officer tried to break the fight up, but then three other students reportedly began fighting the original victim. Officials say, the deputy was then forced to use pepper spray to control the situation and stop the assault.

The fight ended with the help of administration and the arrival of other law enforcement from the Wicomico County Sheriff's Office and Salisbury Police.

The incident caused a big disruption in normal activities at the school. School officials say that the school was placed on precautionary status, but that order has been restored and they hope that students will stay at the school for the day and learn.

Wicomico County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Donna Hanlin says the vast majority of students did an excellent job of following directions and continuing with the school day. Dr. Hanlin says there will be a proactive law enforcement presence at the school for the remainder of Wednesday and all of Thursday to maintain a safe learning environment.

Four students were taken into custody to the Sheriff's Office. The four students, along with a fifth student who reportedly ran away from the school will be charged with second degree assault, disorderly conduct and disturbing school operations. Four of those charged are 16-year-old boys while the other is a 15-year-old boy. Officials say the investigation is ongoing and more arrests are possible.

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Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis has confirmed that five arrests have been made so far in connection to a reported large melee that took place Wednesday morning at Bennett High School in Salisbury.

The Sheriff's Office says large fights broke out at the school, necessitating response from both deputies and Salisbury Police. Sheriff Lewis says pepper spray was deployed, with one student alleging this caused her to hyperventilate. Officials say that student was released into the custody of a parent.

There is currently a heavy police presence at the school, both the Wicomico County Sheriff's Office and reporters on the scene confirm. Officials say five arrests have been made with the possibility of more forthcoming. Sheriff Lewis says the fights have been contained and there is no report of a riot.

This story will be updated as more details arrive.


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