News 12 at 11, April 21, 2007
Augusta, Ga. --- Five students were arrested Monday at the Academy of Richmond County. They are, 19-year-old Chaz Green, 18-year-old Corray Bryant, 17-year-old Deontae Cherry, and 18-year-old Joseph Norfleat. A 16-year-old is also facing charges, but deputies have already released him to his parents. The incident was all caught on tape.
Take a good look at this surveillance video. It looks like any other crowded school hallway. But it holds the evidence, Richmond County investigators were looking for.
"People were throwing up their gang signs and disrespecting other gangs, and stuff like that. So that's how it got started," David Skeen said.
David Skeen is a Junior at the Academy of Richmond County. A lot of his friends were crammed into the hallway.
"Massive chaos in that hallway. And it was like a stampede. Luckily no one got hurt," Skeen said.
Deputies arrested the students after a fight at the school earlier this month. The crowd grew to about 700 students. Eight students were involved, but investigators took a closer look and saw several others flashing gang signs on the tape. Sgt. Richard Roundtree said this type of behavior will not be tolerated.
"The ones who were outside agitating it on, who's aging it on, throwing up the gang signs, who are trying to get other people to engage in this type of activity. You are just as guilty and will be severely punished just as you were involved in the altercation," Sgt. Roundtree said.
Investigators believe the fight was between groups called the Harrisburg Posse and Zone 4.
"It sends a wakeup call to let you know what is happening in our school systems. We've identified it and are addressing it and were going to let them know we're taking a heavy handed approach to this. We're not just going to use it as a slap on the wrist. We're going to let them know that any student engaged in any gang activity, especially within the school system will not be tolerated," Sgt. Roundtree said.
David said he just wants everyone to get along, because school fights, get in the way of education.
"Turn around and walk away from it you know. If someone gets pushed, just turn around and walk away. Don't even get involved," Skeen said.
The students arrested will be charged with street gang activity and inciting a riot.