WATERVLIET, N.Y. – Two teens face criminal charges after a massive brawl that broke out following Watervliet High School graduation ceremonies on Thursday.
Watervliet Police Chief Mark Spain told the Albany Times Union that officers responded to a 911 call shortly after 8:30 p.m. Thursday and found dozens of people duking it out in the parking lot.
The fight came just after the school’s graduation ceremony and involved roughly 30 people, a situation that forced Watervliet Police to call in reinforcements from Green Island, Colonie and Menands police departments, according to the news site.
Police arrested two at the scene: 18-year-old Watervliet resident Damion Walker and an unidentified juvenile. One officer was injured in the melee, WRGB reports.
Investigators are now combing through surveillance videos to homes of hearing “chatter between the groups” to determine the cause of the brawl. Currently, Watervliet police “have no idea” how it started, Spain told the Times Union.
Spain said an officer was taken to Samaritan Hospital with a swollen hand, though it’s likely not broken.
Both Walker and the teen face misdemeanor charges of obstructing governmental administration.
Watervliet City Schools issued a prepared statement about the incident to ABC 10:
An altercation occurred outside Watervliet High School after the graduation ceremony ended Thursday evening. The incident occurred at the edge of school property and continued into the street. Watervliet police who were at the school directing traffic for the graduation ceremony responded and additional officers were called to assist.
This incident detracted from the celebration and the accomplishments of our graduates. It is troubling and it is unfortunate that the foolish choices and actions of a few individuals created a negative and potentially dangerous atmosphere for what began as a happy and memorable occasion for our graduates and their families.
We are profoundly disappointed in the behavior exhibited last night by the students and adults involved in the altercation. We do not condone or tolerate violence of any kind in our schools. Any students or adults found in violation of the district’s Code of Conduct will face disciplinary consequences.
Folks who commented about the situation online were not impressed.
“Graduate high school and go to jail – all in the same night!” whoareyou posted in the Times Union comments. “Sounds like Watervliet.”
“What a way to end your school career,” Angela Capullo posted to Facebook. “So much for moving toward adulthood.”
“My goodness…what is wrong with people? There was a fight at the Schenectady graduation, too,” Colleen Jones added.