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Patterson High released from lockdown after morning brawl

PATTERSON — Patterson High School was locked down from mid-morning to about 1:30 p.m. after fights involving 100 to 150 students

Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Deputy Royjindar Singh said officials investigated a report that there was a gun on campus.

Several ambulances, and dozen of sheriff's and police cruisers, responded. Four students were injured, but all were treated on the scene.

Dozens of worried parents are waiting across the street, but deputies were not letting anyone on campus.

Crystal Crawford, a 16-year-old junior, was on a break when the alarm went off. She spoke with The Bee from the cafeteria, where she was being kept with other students.

“We thought it was a drill,” she said. “We went out to the grass, and everyone was running to see the fire. Then, we saw people running another way. Then, all these people were fighting.

“Everyone started getting into it for no reason.”

She said she saw at least 12 fights involving mostly boys until “people kept getting added on because people were getting stepped on or hit by accident.”

“People were getting dragged, pushed and hit ... people weren’t caring if other people were in the way. They were so violent.”

She said she hurt her arm when she got pushed to the ground.

“It was like a giant mosh pit,” she said.

Shortly after, police and firefighters arrived. School administrators were having a difficult time giving direction because they were either trying to break up fights or trying to talk over students who weren’t listening when they were asked to return to their classrooms.

“The student body wasn’t listening to anyone,” she said. “People freaked out. There were those who wanted to leave the campus ... The administrators were getting angry and making more people freak out.”

Crystal said she and a friend headed back to their lockers and then to the bathroom before returning to class. As they left the bathroom, a police officer told them to go to the cafeteria, where they remained at noon.

She couldn’t confirm rumors that the fight was gang-related, although she thinks that was a possibility because “everyone was talking about it.”

She said she stayed in communication with friends who in different areas of the campus through phone calls and text messages.

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