Officer attacked, four Hemet teens arrested during middle school melee

HEMET — Four students were arrested and one required medical treatment after a near riot broke out at Rancho Viejo Middle School Friday afternoon, Aug. 23, according to Hemet PD officials. The students arrested, who range in age from 13 to 15-years-old, now face charges including felony assault on a police officer, resisting arrest, inciting a riot, participating in a riot, and multiple other charges.

According to officials, yesterday’s violent incident began shortly before 4 p.m., when a 15-year-old Tahquitz High School student walked onto the campus of Rancho Viejo Middle School and became involved in an argument with a school employee, Hemet Police Lt. Eric Dickson said after the arrests.

After a school resource officer arrested the teen for causing the disturbance, several other students became involved and allegedly attacked the officer – causing him to issue an emergency radio broadcast for help.

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Although Dickson did not specify the nature of the initial confrontation or why the high school student had gone to the middle school, Dickson explained, “The Tahquitz student threatened to harm the employee and the school resource officer was called.”

When the school resource officer arrived and attempted to make contact the Tahquitz student who was causing the disturbance, she refused to speak with him and attempted to leave the campus, according to Dickson.

Based on information gathered from school staff, the officer arrested the girl for making threats against a public employee.

Officers from around Hemet converged onto the Rancho Viejo Middle School campus Friday afternoon, after an officer was attacked while trying to arrest a 15-year-old girl from Tahquitz High School. Will Whelan/Hemet Valley Incidents photo

As the officer was walking the teen to his vehicle, a crowd of students began to form around them and became aggressive with the officer; demanding that he release the arrested girl.

“As the officer attempted to place the student into his vehicle, one of the surrounding students blocked the car door from closing and another student moved in closer to the officer,” Dickson continued.

As the situation escalated, one of the students allegedly attacked and then began trying to punch the arresting officer, at which time he put out an emergency radio broadcast that he was under attack and he requested priority assistance.

While the officer pushed back against the aggressive students and fended off the 13-year-old male student who was physically attacking him, officers who heard his radio call for help converged onto the middle school campus from around the city.

“Ultimately, with the assistance of school staff and additional officers, the crowd was dispersed and three more students were arrested,” Dickson continued. “Thankfully, neither the officer nor any of the students were injured.”

Officers ultimately arrested four students, ages 13 to 15, after a near riot broke out while a school resource officer was attempting to arrest a high school student who had threatened to assault a staff member at Rancho Viejo Middle School. Will Whelan/Hemet Valley Incidents photo

Although nobody was injured during the melee, medical aid was requested to the campus to treat one of the students “for a preexisting condition,” according to Dickson.

All four of the arrested students were transported to Riverside County Juvenile Hall where they were booked on a variety of charges related to the incident. None of the students names were released due to their ages.

Those arrested included:

  • 15-year-old female Hemet resident for threatening a public employee and resisting arrest.
  • 13-year-old male Hemet resident for felony assault on a police officer, inciting a riot, and
    participating in a riot.
  • 14-year-old male Hemet resident for inciting a riot and participating in a riot.
  • 13-year-old male Hemet resident for inciting a riot and participating in a riot.

Click any image to open full-size gallery.

Will Whelan/Hemet Valley Incidents photos

Gary Rainwater/Hemet Valley Incidents video

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 48, moved last year to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle, and Anza Valley Outlook; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 28 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 15 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.

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