City Planning Major Response to Downtown Brawl
LOWELL -- A Friday downtown brawl involving several high school students and other recent incidents of youth violence have prompted municipal, police, school and other city leaders to come together for a citywide response.
City Manager Eileen Donoghue and Police Superintendent Kelly Richardson said they are working with Acting Superintendent Jeannine Durkin, District Attorney Marian Ryan and business and faith leaders on violence prevention and restorative justice efforts.
“The message was loud and clear when we met with the superintendent: this is not going to be tolerated, but we all need to work together as a community on this,” Donoghue said.
Students involved in the melee are facing both disciplinary and legal consequences, Richardson said.
He said a series of incidents led to the large brawl that occurred Friday afternoon at rush hour.
Smaller fights earlier in the week prompted school officials to ask for additional police officers to come to Lowell High School Friday to speak with students, he said.
Later Friday upon dismissal, however, the situation escalated, and people from outside of the school community became involved, Richardson said. Numerous fights broke out between the area of the school and the intersection of Merrimack and Shattuck streets, where the brawl was at its ugliest, he said.
At least one business, Enterprise Bank, locked down during the melee just outside its doors.
“These things shouldn’t have to happen downtown,” Richardson said. “People had to lock themselves inside.”
Donoghue said police had to call for mutual aid. Officers from UMass Lowell, state police, Dracut, Chelmsford and Tewksbury all assisted at the scene, Richardson said.
So far, 10 juveniles and Adrian Kimborowicz, 18, a student at the LHS Career Academy, have been arrested in connection with the incident. Richardson said the investigation is ongoing and he expects further charges and arrests are forthcoming.
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