December 14, 2006
20 students have been arrested after a fight at Wally's in Evans on Tuesday (December 12).
The store's parking lot is a big after school hangout for Evans High students...but after a fight this week, the store and the sheriff's office are taking action.
As manager of Wally's convenience store in Evans, Marie Simon says she never had a problem with Evans High students hanging around the store after school...until now.
"This group, this year, last year, it's gotten worse every year," she told News 12. "You just can't allow it."
The last straw was a fight Tuesday afternoon in the parking lot behind the gas station that landed 20 students in jail, all charged with disorderly conduct. 10 of them were juveniles, under 17.
"It was a large fight that erupted," said Capt. Steve Morris. "Fortunately we were close and were able to break it up and there were very few injuries."
Many Evans High School parents and students say the parking lot has become an after school hangout, a place where fights that started during the school day are finished.
That's what Capt. Morris say occurred here: drama at school was acted out in the nearby parking lot. However, it's unclear what the fight was about and how many teens got physical.
"We've heard different stories," he said. "Some are matching, some are not. But it's too early to get into the whys or what this was all about."
It's those uncertainties that has parent Doug Mayneschein upset. Doug's 16-year-old son was arrested, even though he says he was sitting in his car, not fighting.
"Police showed up, everybody ran, those who sat still and did what they were told, they're getting cited," Doug said. "I don't think that's right."
It's a side story the teens can tell to a judge during a hearing set for January 10.
But for Marie at Wally's, the verdict is already in: the popular hangout is no more.
"Pull up, act like a customer," she said. "Five or ten minutes. After that, it's loitering."
We've also been told deputies will patrol this area more in the after school hours.
The arrested teens bonded out at $275. One parent told us the school was considering suspending some of the students involved. Our calls to the school principal were not returned.
The sheriff's office is looking into whether this fight had something to do with a letter left in a bathroom at the school. The note was essentially a hit list of students and teachers.
Managers say this wasn't the first time students fought behind the store. One time, a person was stabbed.