Nine Connetquot High School students were arrested and a 10th is being sought for a brawl captured in a video that went viral, Suffolk police said Wednesday.
The fists-flying fray stemmed from "name calling" between two students and escalated into a prearranged fight March 7 on Remington Avenue in Ronkonkoma, said Fifth Precinct Det. Lt. John O'Brien. One student came with brass knuckles, others to make sure their friends weren't outnumbered, he said.
"There were words exchanged between one individual and another at the high school," O'Brien said. "It simmered for approximately a month, with other people getting involved."
"It escalated into them agreeing to meet on a Saturday afternoon, the 7th, to engage in a fight. . . . Nobody got killed, thank God. It had the potential to be very serious," he said.
The students, ages 15 to 18, were arrested between March 13 and Friday on various misdemeanors and violations, including assault, unlawful assembly and reckless endangerment.
Five were booked as adults and four as juveniles, police said. The 10th student will be charged as an adult once he is found, police said.
In the most serious cases, Carl Knight, 17, of Ronkonkoma, was charged with criminal possession of a weapon, and Justin Altiery-Deabreau, of Ronkonkoma, and Charles Loomis, of Bohemia, both 16, with assault.
The only family reached was Knight's mother, Theresa Tulimiero, who declined to comment.
Identifying the teenagers was a “community effort,” with “tremendous” help from the school district, O’Brien said.
Ten students were seen fighting in the video, police said, with the most severe injury a broken jaw. Police said the fight was not racially motivated.
Connetquot Superintendent Lynda Adams declined to comment, but referred to her March 14 letter to the community, citing steps taken to prevent future fights.
With Jo Napolitano