School Security Forces Break-Up of Fight with Pepper Spray

REDLANDS - Nearly 30 Redlands High School students were exposed to pepperspray Friday when a campus security guard sprayed a student  who refused to stop fighting, school and Fire Department officials said.

The fight broke out among four or five male students duringlunch while several students were outdoors in the main quad. Campus security officers rushed to break up the fight, but one student refused to stop despite repeated warnings that pepperspray would be used, said Principal Christina Rivera.   The student, whose name will not be released, took swings at students and staff members, she said.   "Because that one didn't stop, we had to spray," Rivera said. "Unfortunately, when you spray, it's just not one person who feels it."

Redlands Fire Department paramedics treated 27 students for pepper-spray exposure, flushing their eyes out with saline, said Fire Capt. Mark Davis.   "We just keep flushing their eyes until they can keep them open," Davis said.   Two female students who became panicky after the pepper-spray exposure were taken to a local hospital to receive the same type of treatment until their parents could come to take them home, he said.

School officials ended the lunch period about five minutes early to disperse the crowd of students that had formed to watch the fight, Rivera said.

"When you have a fight, kids like to rush up and watch," she said. Redlands police officers helped school security break up the crowd, said Lt. Russ Dalzell. The Redlands Police Department did not make any arrests, he said. The students involved in the fight were treated and then questioned by school officials.

"We've got a kid in each office to try to figure out what's going on," Rivera said a few hours after the fight.