7 Evanston students arrested after ETHS brawl

Marshall Cohen

Seven students were arrested Wednesday at Evanston Township High School after a fight, Evanston Police spokesman Cmdr. Tom Guenther said.

Officers were “still doing the paperwork” and have not yet filed any charges against the seven students, who were all juveniles, Guenther said late Wednesday afternoon.

A school safety officer injured his arm while attempting to break up the fight and was taken by ambulance to Evanston Hospital. He was treated and released, Guenther said.

There were no additional injuries, Guenther added.

The scuffle broke out between two students in the main hallway during a passing period shortly before noon Wednesday at ETHS, 1600 Dodge Ave. Additional students then became involved in the brawl, which was “quickly contained,” according to a statement posted on the school’s website at 2:45 p.m. Wednesday.

The fight was allegedly sparked by an incident between the students at a neighborhood event over the weekend, according to the statement.

Guenther said the altercation was not gang-related and said it stemmed from “verbal disagreements that have been occurring over a number of days that just escalated today.”

The statement posted on the ETHS website said there was never any threat to the safety of any other students or staff members.

“Incidents such as these, even as rarely as they occur, are taken seriously and are dealt with decisively,” the statement said. “The safety of our students and staff is our first concern.”

ETHS junior Jessica Baum said Principal Oscar Hawthorne made an announcement regarding the incident over the school’s P.A. system.

“He said there was a fight in the passing period, EPD got involved and some kids were arrested and that they might be suspended or expelled,” Baum said. “It was a shock to hear it over the PA system and to see this story getting to be as big as it was.”

Baum said she did not witness the incident Wednesday but was in the building as it happened. She said there have been plenty of fights throughout her years at ETHS but said the high school fosters a safe environment.

“I’ve always felt safe at ETHS with all the safety and everyone here,” Baum said. “They work really hard to make sure that all the students are safe no matter how many fights there have been.”

The investigation is still ongoing, and criminal charges are pending, Guenther said.

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