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Student airlifted, other detained after fight in Pasco County

The fight at River Ridge High School in New Port Richey left one student injured, deputies said.
One student was injured and transported by airlift to the hospital after a fight broke out at River Ridge High School in New Port Richey.
One student was injured and transported by airlift to the hospital after a fight broke out at River Ridge High School in New Port Richey. [ Photo illustration by ASHLEY DYE and BOYZELL HOSEY | Times ]
Published Feb. 3, 2021|Updated Feb. 3, 2021

One River Ridge High School student was airlifted and taken to a hospital and another was arrested after a fight on campus Wednesday, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.

The two involved in the fight were both students at the high school in New Port Richey.

The student was transported as a trauma alert and taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, said Pasco County Fire Rescue spokesman Corey Dierdorff. The call came in just before 10:30 a.m. He has non-life-threatening injuries, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

No weapons were used in the fight, said Amanda Hunter, a spokeswoman with the Sheriff’s Office. No other students or bystanders were injured. The other high school student was detained by the on-campus school resource officer, she said.

The uninjured 17-year-old faces a felony battery charge. The Times is not naming either student because of their age. The injured boy faces a misdemeanor battery charge for also participating in the fight and hitting the other boy, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Additional deputies will be at the high school on Thursday out of precaution, Hunter said.

Pasco County Schools spokesman Steve Hegarty confirmed the fight and said the school is sending notices home to parents. Both students are in tenth grade, he said.

When Jeff Roberts, 43, heard about the fight from his son, he said he couldn’t find any information online from the school or the Sheriff. His son, a senior at the high school, had seen a graphic video of the fight, which was circulating among students.

The video shows two students fighting in a corridor on the school’s campus. When one student is on the ground, the other student punches him and then uses his foot to stomp on the student’s head. He then walks away, while the other boy lays on the ground groaning and visibly shaking.

Roberts said it was a sad situation that affects more than just the two students involved.

“It’s very obviously saddening,” Roberts said. “My son’s not acting normal when he gets home because he’s thinking about it too. You want them to think about other things, we had a bad enough year last year.”

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