Mount Vernon school melee sparked by Mace attack, police say
The melee at Mount Vernon High School Thursday erupted after one student Maced another and a fight broke out, triggering a school lockdown and drawing about 100 officers to the scene, Deputy Police Chief Dumser said Friday.
Several of the seven people arrested were arraigned Friday in Mount Vernon City Court. After the hearing, one of them, Marvin Taylor, 17, blamed the cops for being heavy handed.
"One police officer -- I accidentally brushed up against him trying to get away -- told me I'm going to get you because you brushed me," Taylor told reporters before his lawyer cut him off.
Dumser said those involved in the fracas weren't cooperating with authorities, News12 reported. Police Commissioner Carl Bell and a spokesman for Mount Vernon Police Chief John Roland declined to provide details about the fight, referring calls to Mayor Ernie Davis' office. Friday afternoon, the mayor released a list of six of those charged. Details on the seventh person, who is underage, were not released. The names and counts include:
• Marvin Taylor, 17, resisting arrest and second-degree rioting.
• Colin Clarke, 18, obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and fighting.
• Breana Rigsbee, 22, obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct and fighting.
• Aliyah Ellison, 16, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and fighting.
• Travis Maurile, 18, obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. All of the charges are misdemeanors.
• Demitre Loderick, 19, second-degree (felony) assault, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and fighting.
All counts, except Loderick's assault charge, are misdemeanors.
The situation at the school appeared normal Friday. Most of those arrested had transferred to Mount Vernon High School this year from other schools in the district because they were "having problems," News12 reported.
"We know the reputation of the young people . . . involved and they have a history, and I'm suggesting that they be removed from this environment because obviously they are not here for the learning experience," Davis said Thursday.
School officials, including Superintendent Judith Johnson, Principal Ronald Gonzalez and PTSA president Marcia Lalloo-Roldan, didn't immediately return phone calls or emails Friday seeking comment.
The riot began in the school cafeteria shortly before noon. When officers entered the building they were confronted by students who threw "bottles, cans and food" at them, while others were still tussling, Davis' office said Thursday.
Police locked down the school and called for backup, initially from within the city, then countywide. State troopers, as well as officers from Larchmont, Yonkers, Harrison and Westchester County, responded. After police broke up the fights and removed several students from the cafeteria, "a crowd estimated at over 200 students followed outside," the mayor's office said Thursday, adding that there were no serious injuries.
Cody Thomas, 16, a junior, said one student's head was smashed through glass. There was "a lot of rowdiness. People just figured it was time to attack," Thomas said. "I saw a lot of food being thrown, a lot of Slushies, a lot of water."