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November 17, 1987

A fourth athlete from San Dieguito High School pleaded guilty Monday to assault charges arising from a series of North County attacks.

The 17-year-old senior from La Costa pleaded guilty to felony battery with serious bodily injury in an attack June 25 on a Leucadia family in their driveway. Charges from a May 30 party in Olivenhain were dropped.

Superior Court Judge Norbert Ehrenfreund, sitting in Juvenile Court, set sentencing for the youth, a star running back on the football team, for Jan. 7.

The youth's father said his son has learned that "throwing a punch and being a big shot is not worth" being arrested and going to court.

In all, nine current or former athletes from San Dieguito High were charged in four off-campus ganglike attacks. Four have pleaded guilty, one has been convicted, two are awaiting trial, and two had charges dropped.

The attacks prompted a controversy over whether the school had done enough to discourage violence among its athletes and whether greater control should be exercised over off-campus conduct by students.

The San Dieguito Union High School District Board of Education has scheduled a public hearing for 7:30 p.m. Thursday to discuss a proposal to expand the district's disciplinary code to cover off-campus behavior. The hearing will be in the cafeteria of San Dieguito High in Encinitas.

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