#GoodCops Social Issues

Teens Accused Of Rioting Because They Didn’t Want To Be Arrested For Arguing With School Staff

Three students at a Hemet middle school were arrested on suspicion of inciting a riot after they tried to free another student who was being arrested, the Hemet Police Department said.

The incident happened about Friday, Aug. 23, at Rancho Viejo Middle School. A student arrived on campus and argued with a school employee, a police news release said. The campus police officer was called, and when he tried to speak with the student, a 15-year-old girl, she tried to leave. The student was arrested on suspicion of threatening a public employee.

As the officer took the girl to his patrol car, students aggressively crowded around them and demanded that the officer release the student, the release said. As the officer tried to put the student in his car, one student blocked the car door from closing and another moved in close on the officer.

The students who police say interfered were a 13-year-old boy arrested on suspicion of felony assault on a police officer, inciting a riot and participating in a riot; a 13-year-old boy; and a 14-year-old boy, both arrested on suspicion of inciting a riot and participating in a riot. The 15-year-old girl also was arrested on suspicion of resisting arrest.

Hemet Unified spokeswoman Alexandrea Sponheim emailed a statement to The Press-Enterprise on Saturday that read:

“HUSD does not condone the actions taken by students against the School Resource Officer. HUSD and law enforcement work diligently to provide a safe environment for students to learn. Actions like this go against what we value as an organization.”

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