Hostilities that had been building for a year between two teenage girls erupted Tuesday when a 14-year-old girl and her 25-year-old friend went to Oak Grove Junior High looking to settle a score with a 13-year-old pupil.
By the time the fight was over, one girl's blouse had been ripped off, several students were sprayed with pepper spray, and the Oak Grove principal had chased down the assailants to hold them for police.
"There was a little excitement, but everybody's back at school today," said Oak Grove principal Coleman Bell.
The excitement started shortly after 1 p.m. when a teenager and 25-year-old Seresa Rome _ neither of them Oak Grove students _ went on campus and began arguing with the 13-year-old. The victim's teacher brought her into the classroom, but the two trespassers went into the classroom to continue the argument. Blows were exchanged, and the victim tore the blouse off the 14-year-old trespasser, according to Tampa police reports.
Finally, someone sprayed the canister of pepper irritant, hitting the teacher, the 13-year-old victim and seven other students. The two trespassers then ran from the campus.
Bell and the school resource officer chased the teen and the woman off campus. During the chase they saw one of the assailants toss the can of pepper spray.
Four students were taken to St. Joseph's Hospital, where they were treated and released.
Rome and the 14-year-old were charged with having a weapon on school grounds, a felony, as well as trespassing on school grounds, and disrupting a school function, both misdemeanors.
"I was determined to catch them," Bell said. "I need to jog a little. But I can still run if I have to."