Brookhaven Police break up fight in high school gym

Published 9:59 pm Monday, February 19, 2018

A fight in the stands in the middle of the Region 6-5A basketball tournament at Brookhaven High School Friday night resulted in a stopped play but no arrests.

Police and officials cleared the court and removed some fans from the building.

Brookhaven School District Assistant Superintendent Rod Henderson said late Friday night that he and his staff were gathering facts about the incident.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Monday, he said no arrests were made and the individuals involved were adults who lived locally.

Brookhaven Police Chief Kenneth Collins confirmed no arrests were made and referred questions to school officials.

The incident occurred shortly before 9 p.m. as the Forest Hill and Wingfield boys teams were warming up for the championship game. It started with a single young male being escorted out of the gymnasium and into the locker rooms by two Brookhaven police officers and several women, then escalated into the stands and onto the court. Police restrained and removed at least one adult male, and other adults were seen pushing and restraining each other in the stands.

Officials and coaches herded student-athletes together and away from the turmoil while police officers cleaned up the trouble areas. Brookhaven High School Athletic Director Tommy Clopton addressed the crowd on the gymnasium’s public address system, asking for calm and threatening removal and arrest for further confrontation.

“Kids — you can go home now. Get your butts under control,” he said to a group of youth in the north bleachers, to applause from the crowd. “Thanks for your cooperation.”

Order was restored, and at 9:05 p.m., officials returned the basketball teams to the court to resume warm-ups. The title game tipped off around 9:15 without further incident.

It remains unclear how the fight started and who was involved.

“I’m not sure what the nature was so I’d rather not guess regarding the reason,” Henderson said in a text message.