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Hawthorne High quiet after brawl

March 10, 2007|From the Associated Press

Police boosted patrols at Hawthorne High School on Friday to prevent further violence after a brawl involving dozens of students the day before, officials said.

No disturbances were reported Friday, said Police Capt. John Beerling.

One male student was arrested Thursday on suspicion of felony assault on an officer and taken to Eastlake Juvenile Hall, Beerling said. Twenty-five other students were cited and released, he added.

Police and school officials said the brawl was gang-related and may have been caused by tensions between Latino and Tongan students.

"There's information that it was gang-involved and also racially involved," Beerling said.

The fight broke out in the cafeteria during lunch, said Cheryl White, superintendent of the Centinela Valley Union High School District.

The original combatants were quickly surrounded by 50 others, officials said.

About 60 officers from five law enforcement agencies rushed to the campus, Beerling said.

The violence was quelled by officers in riot helmets who used pepper spray and carried shotguns that fire beanbag rounds, officials said.

Three officers were injured by thrown objects but were able to return to duty Friday, Beerling said.

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