GRAPHIC: Two arrested following large-scale fight at school in Tucson

According to court documents, a man picking up sons refused advice to avoid the campus courtyard.
KOLD News 10-10:30 p.m. recurring
Published: May. 3, 2022 at 12:39 PM MST|Updated: May. 4, 2022 at 1:53 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - At least two people have been arrested in connection with a large-scale fight at a school in Tucson on Tuesday, May 3.

Court documents obtained Wednesday reveal that a man and his two sons were advised before the disturbance to use an exit that would help them avoid a confrontation.

The Tucson Police Department said officers were called to Tucson High by the Tucson Unified School District. The TPD said there were no reported injuries and no weapons involved.

Willie Smith 40, is facing a felony charge of disrupting an educational institute in a...
Willie Smith 40, is facing a felony charge of disrupting an educational institute in a connection with a fight at Tucson High on Tuesday, May 3.(Tucson Police Department)

The TPD said 40-year-old Willie Smith was arrested on a felony charge of disrupting an educational institute and a 15-year-old boy is facing a charge of disorderly conduct-fighting.

According to the interim complaint, Smith was called to the school to pick up his two sons, who were being sent home after a disturbance with another group of students on Monday.

The document said Smith was advised by school staff and safety officers that he and his sons should leave through a back exit, and not through the actual campus. Smith allegedly refused and took his sons through the courtyard during lunch.

Smith allegedly told staff this was an ongoing issue and if not addressed, there would be a problem. Smith said, “If it’s going down, it’s going down here,” according to the document. Officers said Smith was referring to his sons protecting themselves if provoked.

While the three walked through the courtyard, there was an exchange between a group of students and Smith’s sons, and a fight broke out.

Smith’s sons allegedly got into an altercation and Smith followed his sons into the area.

According to the complaint, Smith got into “mutual combat with a student.” Both Smith and the student were throwing punches at each other before Smith allegedly pinned the student to the ground by his neck. Smith admitted to fighting with the student and claimed the student was assaulting his son, the complaint said.

The video and witness statements could not confirm who threw the first punch.

Smith said he didn’t feel they needed to leave through the back gate since he was not told by school staff that his sons had done anything wrong to be sent home, according to the complaint.

The district said all students and staff are safe and the campus returned to normal operations a few hours after the incident. TUSD said that “some safety restrictions, including continued School Safety and TPD presence, (will continue for) the remainder of the day and week.”

Several videos posted online show a very large fight with at least 30 people involved.

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