Cheerleaders’ social media spat leads to real-life fights at Crete-Monee High School
By Susan DeMar Lafferty firstname.lastname@example.org February 4, 2014 9:48PM
Damaria Sutton, 18, of Park Forest | Will County Sheriff's Office
Updated: March 6, 2014 6:56AM
A weekend squabble on social media between two cheerleaders lead to a real-life altercation at Crete-Monee High School, where one teen was charged with a felony for bringing a knife to school, Crete Police Chief Jim Paoletti said.
School officials had their hands full on Monday dealing with four fights in all — at least two related to the cheerleaders — two arrests and a teacher and a student who were both injured trying to break up different fights, the chief said.
Cheerleader Damaria Sutton, 18, of 35 Woodlawn Glenn, Park Forest, was charged with unlawful use of a weapon on school grounds, a felony, Paoletti said. In a separate incident, a 15-year-old juvenile was charged with disorderly conduct, he said.
Paoletti said two of the four fights were related to the dispute between the two cheerleaders, but it was unclear if the other two fights were related. More arrests are possible after police review video recordings at the high school on Wednesday to determine who else was involved, Paoletti said.
Sutton and another girl, both cheerleaders, allegedly had been “irritating each other” on social media over the weekend and planned to settle their dispute in school on Monday, Paoletti said. Their verbal altercation escalated at school Monday morning, and staff members had to restrain them, he said.
Sutton allegedly became aggressive and, during a struggle with a staff member, dropped a folding knife to the floor, Paoletti said. Sutton told police she brought the knife to school because she was afraid of losing the fight, Paoletti said.
Later that day, friends of those two girls got into a fight, during which a 15-year-old brandished a padlock as a weapon. That student was charged with disorderly conduct and has a March 4 court date, the chief said.
Sutton was being held on $5,000 bond at the Will County Adult Detention Center as of 5 p.m. Tuesday
On Tuesday, police learned that a teacher was injured in a third incident on Monday when she tried to separate two fighting teens. After one student was hit and fell to the ground, the offending student tried to kick the student on the ground. But the teacher, who tried to shield the student on the ground, got kicked instead and suffered bruised ribs, Paoletti said.
In a fourth fight, a student who tried to break up two other students who were fighting, fell and suffered a concussion, the chief said.
School officials could not be reached for comment.