Reading officer injured with razor in large fight among students

Another officer hurt knee; 8 students charged with assault, rioting

Posted: 10:18 AM EDT Sep 21, 2012   Updated: 5:43 PM EDT Sep 21, 2012
DVHS fight

A Reading police officer was injured Friday morning in a large fight among high school students.

All of the city's available officers were called around 9 a.m. for what was described as a "large fight" inside the Delaware Valley High School on Margaret Street in Reading.

One of the officers suffered a cut with a razor as he attempted to break up the fight, police said. He was treated at the scene. Another officer hurt his knee.

Several students were handcuffed and hauled away to police headquarters for questioning. Eight of them were later arrested. Criminal charges include aggravated and simple assault, rioting and resisting arrest.

The Delaware Valley High School, a school for students with behavioral problems, opened just this year in the former magnet school behind Thomas Ford Elementary.

Prior to this year, the district's troubled students had to be bused from Reading to D.V.H.S.'s location in North Coventry Twp., Chester Co. That presented its own problems, with reports of fights aboard the school buses, including one brawl that was caught on a cell phone camera.

Friday's fight at the D.V.H.S. in Reading is the latest in a round of violence in city schools. Just last week, several students were arrested and two were injured in a fight over a chair in the cafeteria of the Reading Intermediate High School, also known as the Citadel.

Last Friday, Mayor Vaughn Spencer and city church leaders gathered outside the Citadel to call for an end to the violence. He urged more parents to become involved.

The school's principal on Wednesday called on the school board for help in making the Citadel safer. The board has agreed to pay for the temporary assignment of two police officers to the Citadel.