5 Oslo middle school eighth graders arrested after fights
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY – A fight that started outside Oslo middle school on Friday spilled over into the principal’s office, leading to the school official holding a student back as deputies in contained others who they said “won’t stop fighting”.
Five eighth graders were arrested following the incident which led to a major response from deputies and what were reported as minor injuries among school staff, sheriff’s officials said.
Two of the students were charged with assault and battery against a school official while three were charged with disrupting the running of the school, which is a misdemeanor.
According to the report of a school deputy, the fight started on Friday between about six or seven students when the school was closed at around 2:40 p.m. He arrived to disperse a large crowd gathered between buildings where other deputies pinned one student to the ground and another against a building.
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The school deputy said in the report that one of the students escaped and ran inside the school, followed by other students who eventually ended up in the principal’s office and continued to fight.
The deputy reported seeing Principal Eddie Robinson restraining a student, who then wrestled with a deputy while being handcuffed.
At approximately 3:30 p.m., nearly 10 law enforcement vehicles were outside the school while other sheriff’s deputies patrolled the streets surrounding the school and the adjacent area of South County Park at the off of 20th Avenue SW. The school is at 480 20th Ave. SW
Indian River County School District Superintendent David Moore said the students involved are suspended for 10 days and could face expulsion based on the findings of the district’s investigation.
“The incident itself was dealt with very, very quickly,” Moore said. “Of course law enforcement will respond and with extreme caution.”
He described the school’s investigation of the fight as straightforward, given its nature.
Sheriff’s Office spokesman Keith Carson said Friday that several school staff were injured, although school employees refused medical treatment or transport to a hospital by ambulance. An Indian River County Fire Department official said a school official was treated for a knee injury.
Moore said of the reported injuries: “It’s unfortunate, I don’t want a staff member (to be injured).”
The brawl in Oslo is believed to have taken place between a group of girls, although one of the five arrested was a boy charged with assault and battery against a school official.
“It started as … an ongoing feud with a group of eighth-grade girls in middle school,” said Debbie Carson, a sheriff’s spokeswoman who was reporting accounts given by agency officials. “The buck pushed an administrator who was trying to fight to break him.”
A girl arrested Friday has the same felony charge. Debbie Carson said the other four misdemeanor arrests were made either over the weekend or on Monday.
On February 16, a series of fights led to a major law enforcement response and a lockdown at the Vero Beach High School Freshman Learning Center.
“This all ties into what appears to be some sort of neighborhood fight that’s going on in a few of our schools,” school district spokesperson Cristen Maddux said Friday.
The scuffle at the Freshman Learning Center led to the arrest of up to 16 ninth-graders, sheriff’s office officials said.
Moore said these were two isolated incidents.
“This (Oslo) incident in no way compares to the (Freshman Learning Center). It was very academic behavior,” Moore said on Tuesday. “A (MP) has no choice but to do respect the law.
“The issues are unrelated,” Moore said. “It’s just unfortunate (and) in the last two months they’ve been the only two we’ve had. It’s not this hugely serious issue going on.
Since January, there has been an increased law enforcement presence at Oslo Middle School off 20th Avenue Southwest due to hostilities between some students, Debbie Carson said.
Moore said Oslo “has done a lot” to reduce disruption and “every parent can send their child to school saying I feel safe…”
Although he said he was happy with the security measures at school, he said he welcomed information from parents and students that would prevent problems from arising in advance.
Corey Arwood is a breaking news reporter for TCPalm. Follow Corey on Twitter @coreyarwoodor contact him by phone at 772-978-2246.