Tenth Judicial District Prosecutor Thomas Deen said he expects to make a charging decision this week in a fight that occurred Thursday night at the Monticello Junior High and Hamburg Junior High football game.
Players and a coach were injured in a large fight that broke out on the football field following the game at Hyatt Field in Monticello.
Asked what charges and punishment could be levied, Deen said hypothetically speaking it is a felony to deliberately injure a teacher or other school employee while that person is acting in the line of duty. A juvenile judge has different options, it could be probation or commitment to the state Division of Youth Services or a combination of the two.
Deen said he has not yet seen video footage of the fight but will do so. He said he has made inquiries about the incident, which is being investigated by State Police.
While juvenile matters are confidential, it is possible that the video will be made public at some point. The Arkansas Freedom of Information Act requires all public officials to release public documents at the conclusion of an investigation. There are, however, exceptions including cases involving juveniles. But, in this case, the fight occurred at a public place at a public event.
“Right now my concern is to handle the juvenile matter,” Deen said. “I’ll consider the Freedom of Information matter when the juvenile matter is concluded.”
Meanwhile, the Monticello and Hamburg school districts are also investigating the incident to determine what action the schools should take.
Hamburg School District Superintendent Max Dyson said Monday morning that he expects to make a decision by the end of the day about what action will be taken but that decision will not be made public.