Saturday, May 11, 2002

Officials stop Athens teens' 'Fight Club'

The Associated Press

        ATHENS, Ohio — Authorities say they have stopped three Athens High School teens from arranging and videotaping after-school fights.

        Athens County Sheriff's Deputy Jim Childs said officers were called to three fights within a four-day period last week.

        Deputy Childs said 50 to 70 students would gather to watch the fights in The Plains and Chauncey, communities near Athens. Several students were stopped May 1 near the scene of the third fight in Chauncey.

        Deputies confiscated videotapes and photographs of the fighting recorded by students, he said.

        One student received 10 stitches to his face from a fight, but Deputy Childs knew of no other serious injuries.

        Deputy Childs and Athens High School Principal Mike Meek interviewed students involved in the fighting.

        “Basically they were trying to stir things up with other students by saying, "We're going to fight so and so,'” Mr. Childs said. “The other students would hear they were supposed to fight and show up to defend their honor.”

        Nine students were found to be involved in the fighting or staging fights and were each given 25 hours of community service, Deputy Childs said.


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