GPD: GHS “shoe” fight was not unprovoked attack

SHEILA A. MATHEWS :::

Officials of the Griffin Police Department say all four Griffin High School students videotaped fighting in a boy’s restroom Monday, Dec. 7, were voluntary participants.
According to Lt. Mike Natale, of the Office of the Chief, the four GHS students fought over a false allegation of stolen shoes.
He said the incident began in the school cafeteria when a 15-year-old student told his 18-year-old cousin, Martinius Carr, that another male student seated at the other end of the table was wearing a pair of his shoes that had been stolen during a November residential burglary.
“He said those are my shoes that guy has on. They were stolen in a burglary at my house and I know they’re mine. He said will you go over there and talk to him and get my shoes back or threaten him?” Natale said. “So, he (Carr) doesn’t do it. He tells another guy and that kid goes over and tells him, ‘Hey, so and so says you’ve got his shoes. You stole them in a burglary. I know you’ve got them and we’re going to get them back. We’re going to get them back by any means necessary. If we have to, we’ll fight you for them.’”
Natale said the student accused of wearing the stolen shoes was the one who suggested they fight.
“The (accused) kid said I don’t know what you’re talking about. These are my shoes, but I’ll fight you anyway, so let’s go to the bathroom,” Natale stated.
Investigators say the student who was accused of wearing stolen shoes has not admitted to that statement, but footage from the cafeteria’s video surveillance camera supports that allegation, which was made by the student who was acting as messenger between the two pairs of boys.
The four fight participants, led by the student accused of stealing the shoes and who was accompanied by a second student, followed by Carr and his cousin who made the original allegation, then left the cafeteria, went to the boy’s restroom and began fighting.
The fight was videotaped by students in the restroom, posted to YouTube and subsequently shared on a number of local forums on Facebook, where many residents were alarmed by the incident.
For quite a few, this incident once again brought to the forefront the question of whether school systems’ Zero Tolerance policies, under which all students involved in physical confrontations may be subject to negative disciplinary action, disregards the necessity of self defense in some incidents.
When asked if any of the students involved in the fight were exercising self defense, Natale said, “The kid that’s the victim of the robbery said to the middle man, who was the messenger, ‘I don’t have his shoes; these are my shoes, but I’ll fight you anyway. Tell him I’ll fight him anyway.’ I don’t see how it could be self defense when he orchestrated the fight.”
Natale said the original accusation alleging the student was wearing stolen shoes has been proven false by the boy’s mother, who provided evidence the shoes did, in fact, belong to her son.
“It turns out those were the kid’s shoes. They weren’t the ones from the burglary,” Natale said, adding the mother provided authorities with a receipt indicating they were purchased at Hibbett Sports Jan. 6, 2015.
All four students have been charged with affray, a misdemeanor, and Carr, the only adult involved in the incident, has been charged with an additional count of robbery, a felony that carries a potential sentence of one to 20 years imprisonment.

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Comments

  1. Michele Fagin says:

    Stupid is, stupid does!

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