Teen fights break out on block with high schools

A fight that broke out on the corner of 6th Ave. and Broome St. at the perimeter of Unity Center for Urban Technologies in The Door drop-in center was just the first of several Wednesday on the block, which also includes other high schools.

One teen appeared to be hurt with cuts to his head and an ambulance rushed to the scene to treat him. He was later led away from the scene, with several layers of bandages wrapped around the wound. Witnesses said he was with The Door, which counsels and educates troubled youths.

While accounts of the incident vary, a police spokesperson said that at 10:20 a.m. a fight broke out between students after they had been ushered out of class for a fire drill. He said the incident was still under investigation and that no arrests had been issued, although two students were placed in handcuffs at the scene. The spokesperson also said one safety agent tried to intervene and was assaulted by a student.

Margie Feinberg, a spokesperson for the Department of Education, corroborated much of this account, mentioning that “one administrator was kicked in the shin” over the course of the scuffle. She said four students were arrested.

Two onlookers, Miles and Destiny, respectively a former and current Unity student who asked to have their last names omitted, said a school safety officer hit the student who was injured with a walkie talkie, although neither police nor D.O.E. officials confirmed that.

The Door said they do not comment on incidents involving their students and Unity administrators did not return calls for comment.

Later in the day violence erupted for a second time in front of the statue in Soho Square, this time involving Chelsea Career and Technical Education High School, which despite its name is on the same block. At least three students were seized by school safety and N.Y.P.D. officers.

Brian Rosenbloom, principal of the school, was on scene helping to calm things down and corral students away from the altercation. An anonymous source watching the fight from inside the school commended the principal for taking action, saying the previous principal had never been involved in such a way and suggesting it was a sign of the steady improvement seen in the school since Rosenbloom’s hiring.

No sooner than this fight ended, another abruptly started on the corner of Broome St. and 6th Ave., the site of the original fight this morning. This one however, according to witnesses, was between Chelsea and Unity students as payback for a robbery the previous day.

Another junior at Chelsea, who asked to remain anonymous, seemed unfazed by the violence she had witnessed. “Happens all the time,” she said, as she went on to speak about how these problems were a continuing issue for both schools. “It was my last choice,” she said of Chelsea and she seemed eager to graduate and attend college rather than deal with these continual disruptions. She said the troublemakers were students who don’t want to attend but are forced to go to school anyway, disrupting it in the process. “They ruin everything.”

The junior sounded resolved to the inevitability of violence in her school. “Most likely there will be a fight tomorrow.”

— Casey Samulski