Charges against six more students in Rich South brawl
By Casey Toner firstname.lastname@example.org October 2, 2013 12:56PM
Rich Township High School's South Campus on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013 | Casey Toner~Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 2, 2013 7:56PM
Six more students are facing charges stemming from Monday’s large-scale brawl at Rich South High School involving students from Rich South and Rich Central, authorities said.
Two Rich Central students have been charged with felony reckless conduct for making a bomb threat and planting a fake bomb at the Olympia Fields school, forcing the evacuation of the school Monday afternoon.
About 1,400 Central students were bused to Rich South in Richton Park before the Cook County sheriff’s police bomb squad determined that a package containing electrical wires was harmless.
Olympia Fields police said the two boys charged in connection with the bomb threat are 14 and 15, both of Country Club Hills. They were arrested Tuesday, police said.
Additionally, Richton Park police said four students, who are from both schools, have been charged with breach of peace, a misdemeanor, after they went to a girl’s home in Richton Park on Tuesday and tried to pick a fight. The incident was connected to Monday’s melee, police said.
The arrests bring to 16 the number of students facing criminal charges following the brawl at Rich South, which broke out after Central and South students were taken out of the building because of a fire alarm.
Three girls were injured when they were trampled while leaving the school and were taken to a hospital, police said, and a Rich South teacher and a Richton Park police officer also were treated at a hospital for minor injuries.
Ten students were earlier charged with mob action, a felony. Of those, only Crystal Gholson, 17, of Country Club Hills, was charged as an adult, police said.
Cook County Circuit Court Judge Darron Bowden set Gholson’s bail at $20,000 Wednesday at the courthouse in Markham.
R. Haley Austin, an attorney representing Gholson and her family, said Gholson was being “unfairly targeted” with the charges.
“It is very unlikely she was an aggressor in the situation,” Austin said. “It was more likely she was simply defending herself against an attack by one or more other students.”