Fight erupts at Cleveland kindergarten graduation
CLEVELAND — A brawl that started over spilled punch at a kindergarten graduation ceremony on Friday resulted in the arrest of eight people, authorities said. Police were called when one participant pulled out a pipe and another a hammer.
Two teenage girls apparently started hitting each other at Michael R. White Elementary School, and their families joined in, Cleveland police Cmdr. Wayne Drummond said. The fight involved adults and minors, he said.
“You had adults fighting adults, juvies fighting juvies, and so forth,” he said as parents streamed into the building to pick up their children. “You just had a melee here.”
No one was hurt, Drummond said. It wasn't clear whether the hammer and pipe were brought to the school or were grabbed during the fight from a janitor's supplies or elsewhere, police spokeswoman Jennifer Ciaccia said.
No charges were immediately filed, but those arrested were being booked for aggravated rioting, Drummond said. By city practice, charges are filed after prosecutors review a case.
A parent of students at the school, Brianna Smith, was alerted by a neighbor about the fight and went to the school to get her 7- and 12-year-old sons. “It makes me not want to send them for the rest of the school year,” she told The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer.
City Councilman Jeff Johnson lives across the street from the school, which is in a blue-collar neighborhood overlooking the leafy University Circle arts and museum district. He said the spilled punch set off the fight, with one person pulling out a pipe and another a hammer, leading school security officers to call police.
“Mouthing off, one thing leads to another and it spills out here,” Johnson said.
At least 10 patrol cars went to the scene.
“It was a very chaotic scene,” Drummond said. The fight erupted as the ceremony was ending about 11 a.m. and then moved outside.
Officers quickly restored order, Drummond said. More than the eight arrested were involved in the fight, and the initial heavy police response came amid a call, which turned out to be false, about shots fired, he said.
No students enrolled at the school were involved, district communications officer Roseann Canfora said in an email.
“It is embarrassing that parents during a kindergarten promotion cannot control themselves, and what we tried to do was respond significantly,” Johnson said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Judge orders nonprofit tax form release in case against IRS
- Overhaul of military benefit programs sought
- Poll shows giant gap between what public, scientists think
- Police in South Carolina: Family killed man in custody fight
- Senators approve Keystone pipeline
- Obama calls for government spending surge
- Penn State University eyes changes to sexual misconduct case handling
- Taliban 5 linking with Haqqani, Graham says
- Former Idaho National Guard soldier’s benefits claims yield indictment
- Rock pythons creep into Everglades
- McCain to protesters: ‘Get out of here, you low-life scum’