A 13-year-old student in Menifee was arrested after assaulting another student, and police are looking for the person who filmed the assault, the Menifee Police Department said.
The two students from Ethan A. Chase Middle School had known each other and had exchanged harsh words the previous days, Captain Dave Gutierrez said. Then, on Monday, October 25, in a planned assault, the 13-year-old approached the victim, threw him to the ground and punched him in the face, Gutierrez said on Friday.
“The way it was recorded, there’s not much doubt it was going to happen,” he said.
The fight was quickly brought to a halt and the victim sustained “moderate” injuries to the face, Gutierrez said. The person who filmed the attack was not identified and should have intervened, he said.
The attack occurred during a nutritional break, said Madison Arreola, spokesperson for the Romoland school district.
Schools generally manage the discipline of fighting. But in this case, after the victim’s parents took him to the hospital and called the police, the officers made a report, Gutierrez said.
“Arrests don’t happen very often, but the nature of the injuries in any type of crime is always a determining factor if there is an arrest,” Gutierrez said. Detectives discussed the circumstances with the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office and made the arrest on Tuesday.
The district would not directly say if anyone has been sanctioned. “Appropriate disciplinary procedures were followed,” Arreola said.
Gutierrez said he believed police calls about brawls on campuses in the three school districts, department patrols “are at a fairly high rate right now.”
The police therefore hope to meet with students in an attempt to limit the altercations, he said. Discussions to bring officers to campus for meetings have not started, Arreola said.
“Harsh words and insults are the catalyst for most confrontations. The school and district take our responsibility to ensure the safety of all of our campuses for students very seriously. We will continue our work to prevent situations of violence by teaching nonviolent problem solving, ”said Arreola.
In the meantime, security has been stepped up in Chase, she said.