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Police investigating ‘mob’ attack at local high school

Police at Washington-Liberty High School in Sept. 2022 (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

(Updated at 4:45 p.m.) A “mob” of seven boys is facing serious charges after allegedly attacking another teen at Washington-Liberty High School.

The fight happened around 3:15 p.m. — five minutes after school dismissal — on Tuesday but police were not called until an hour later. A tipster tells ARLnow that it took place inside the school.

The victim went to a hospital on his own, with a non-life-threatening laceration, according to Arlington County police. ACPD is seeking “Malicious Wounding by Mob” charges against the attackers.

Washington-Liberty’s principal sent the following email to families about the incident this afternoon.

Dear W-L Community,

During dismissal yesterday at approximately 3:15 p.m., several W-L students were involved in a significant verbal and physical altercation with another student. Our staff responded to break up the group of students and contacted law enforcement.  We have been in communication with the families of the students involved and have applied appropriate disciplinary consequences.

The initial police report is provided below. Washington-Liberty is collaborating with the ACPD on its investigation and continues to talk with other students not directly involved who may have additional information.

MALICIOUS WOUNDING BY MOB (late), 2024-01090125, 1300 block of N. Stafford Street. At approximately 4:19 p.m. on January 9, police were dispatched to the late report of an assault. Upon arrival, it was determined at approximately 3:15 p.m., a verbal dispute occurred between a group of juveniles, during which the juvenile male victim was allegedly assaulted by a group of approximately seven juvenile male suspects. The victim sustained a laceration and self-reported to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Petitions are pending for the juvenile suspects for Malicious Wounding by Mob.  

We take these incidents very seriously and will continue to take all necessary steps to keep students and staff safe. These actions do not reflect our core values and beliefs at Washington-Liberty and under no circumstances do we condone this type of behavior. Please talk to your student about the consequences of their actions if they get involved in an altercation like this.

I apologize for the delay in updating the broader W-L community regarding this incident, as my immediate focus was on communicating with the students and families directly involved and cooperating with the ACPD on its investigation.

If you have any questions or further information about this incident, please contact me 703-228-6202.

ARLnow asked police about a motive for the attack and whether it was captured on video.

“A verbal dispute preceded the assault and the circumstances of the incident remain under investigation,” said ACPD spokeswoman Alli Shorb. “During the course of the preliminary investigation, evidence was recovered. To ensure the integrity of the investigation and prosecution, there are no additional details to provide at this time.”

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