A crowd of about 70 teenagers closed in on three sheriff’s deputies in Washington state after a disturbance at a middle school basketball game.
A 911 caller said there was a “fight between students who had been in attendance at a basketball tournament,” adding that there was also a group of teens “trying to interfere with and were assaulting school officials who were trying to deal with those involved in the disturbance.”
https://t.co/na2kXRJIpV – Large disturbance at Gaiser Middle School
— Clark Co Wa. Sheriff (@ClarkCoSheriff) March 16, 2019
When three deputies were sent to the school, they were met with “verbal hostilities from the large group of teenagers,” according to the news release.
They said the teens used racial slurs, cursing, and threats of assault when speaking to the deputies.
“It was just like being in an episode of the Twilight Zone. It was really crazy really quickly,” Sgt. Chad Rothenberger with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office said, KGW-TV reported. He said the mob of teens had surrounded school staff.
Deputies said they were met with racial slurs, cursing and death threats by a group of 60-70 teenagers.
“When we got here there was a mob that was around the school staff trying to deal with the kids that were being the problem and they were actually being assaulted while they were trying to deal with one of the problem kids,” said Rothenberger.
About 6o to 70 teenagers “began to close in around the deputies,” said the news release, adding that they cursed at the deputies and made threats of violence, including death threats.
The deputies said that they had to take cover due to “riot conditions,” prompting officers from several law enforcement agencies to be deployed to the scene. A total of 33 police units were there, said the news release.
“The group maintained their agitated and confrontational state with police and school officials. The school security manager indicated to law enforcement that due to the behavior of the involved group, they no longer had permission to be on the campus and wanted them removed from the property,” according to the release.
Several of the teens refused to leave and were arrested.
— Denine Blas (@denineblas) March 16, 2019
A deputy “received minor injuries while struggling with one of the suspects during an arrest,” officials stated.
Nine juveniles in all were arrested on several charges including trespassing, failure to disperse, assault, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest.
A local, Denine Bias, told KGW that she saw the incident unfold.
“[The kids] were out of control. They were screaming foul words and names, and they just started fighting with everybody all over again. The school counselors were there, the school police were there, all the Vancouver PD was there. It was out of control. It was crazy,” she said.
Rothenberger said he’s never seen anything of this nature in 25 years of working in law enforcement.
Violent Crime Declined in 2017
In September 2018, the FBI said Americans committed fewer violent and property crimes across the United States in 2017, according to statistics. The violent crime rate—including offenses such as murder, robbery, and aggravated assault—dropped by almost 1 percent althought it is still about 4 percent above the 2014 rate. The murder rate dropped by 0.7 percent.
“There were more than 1.2 million violent crimes reported to [the FBI] nationwide in 2017. There was a 0.7 percent decrease in murders and a 4 percent decrease in robberies from 2016 to 2017. Aggravated assaults increased 1 percent in 2017. The FBI began collecting data solely on an updated rape definition last year, and 135,755 rapes were reported to law enforcement in 2017,” the agency said.
Of the estimated 17,284 murders in 2017, more than half occurred in larger cities—with populations of more than 100,000.
There are fewer than 300 such cities in the United States, and while they account for less than 30 percent of the country’s population, many of them contribute far beyond their share to national crime rates and have done so for years, even decades.
While the national murder rate inched down to 5.3 per 100,000 residents, it spiked by 15 percent in Philadelphia, to a rate of more than 20 per 100,000 residents. Columbus, Ohio, saw a massive 54 percent murder rate increase, reaching nearly 16.3 per 100,000 residents.