UPDATE: Parents Demand Answers in Afterschool Brawl That Hurt 7
A Manhattan high school is holding an emergency meeting for concerned parents after dozens of students got involved in a street brawl, some allegedly wielding bats and knives after school Monday, officials say.
Authorities say the City College Academy for the Arts was letting students out Monday afternoon when dozens of them got involved in a fight near West 196th Street and Broadway. A total of about 50 teens were involved, though it's not clear how many of them were students at that school.
Cellphone video shows the the melee as students assaulted each other -- some with weapons, according to police -- and jumped on cars and ran down the street. Panic could be heard in the voices of some students caught in the chaos.
"Let's go!" one girl is heard screaming to another teen.
"Hold my hand!" another yells.
Seven teens between 16 and 18 years old were hurt in the brawl, according to police. Among the injured was a 17-year-old boy struck in the back of the head and another 17-year-old hit above the eye.
One mother at the school said she knows one of the victims, who's a classmate of her daughter, and that he was set to have surgery on Thursday.
A 16 year old and a 17 year old have been arrested and charged with assault. They attend different schools, and police are now investigating a motive.
There was a strong police presence at the school Tuesday following the fight, but parents were still looking for answers.
"Everybody's scared, we don't know what happened," said another mother who wanted to remain anonymous. She said her son has been having anxiety since the fight and as a result, she also kept him from school Tuesday.
"I don't know if I'm going to be sending him tomorrow to school because I'm really scared," she said.
The mother who knows one of the injured boys said she didn't send her daughter to school on Tuesday, "and I won't send her tomorrow until the school gives us a report of the situation."
Parent Rosa Rojas said she heard there was "a big commotion, a big fight."
"I was very concerned when I drove by and I saw all those cops," she said. "I have my son here."
The concern was widespread enough that administrators decided to hold an emergency meeting Wednesday. A parent coordinator at the school says the meeting will be held in the school auditorium at 4:30 p.m.
In a statement Tuesday, the Department of Education said "the safety and security of students and staff is our top priority... We will continue to work closely with the NYPD to ensure we are providing a safe learning environment in every school building."