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Santa Rosa teen arrested for possessing knife during on-campus fight

Santa Rosa parents wanting schools to be safer attempt recall of school board president
Santa Rosa parents wanting schools to be safer attempt recall of school board president 02:30

SANTA ROSA – A 15-year-old high school student in Santa Rosa has been arrested on multiple charges following an on-campus fight where he allegedly possessed a knife.

Shortly before 2 p.m. Wednesday, officers were called to the campus of Montgomery High School to investigate a lunchtime fight between the suspect and another student, also a 15-year-old male.

When the officer arrived, a school employee said that no knife was involved and that the school wished to handle the case internally. The suspect had also reportedly left campus 20 minutes before police were called.

"Based on the information provided to the officer at the time, and the lack of evidence that a weapon was involved, the decision was made to allow the school to handle the incident administratively as requested," police said in a statement.

Around 6 p.m., the officer returned to Montgomery High after school administrators' uncovered video of the incident. According to the officer, the video showed what appeared to be a folding knife in the suspect's hands.

Police said the blade was not extended during the fight and that the suspect punched the victim in the face while his fist was wrapped around the knife. Both students punched each other several times before staff separated the pair.

The next day, police arrested the suspect at his home. The teen, whose identity was not released due to his age, was booked into juvenile hall on felony assault with a deadly weapon and misdemeanor possession of a weapon on school grounds.

Police said Friday that they have not recovered the knife used in the incident.

Montgomery High School has been the site of multiple violent incidents dating back to last year.

In March 2023, a 16-year-old was stabbed to death during a fight inside a classroom. The incident, along with the arrests of two other students who brought knives to campus led to student walkouts and the school's administrators being placed on leave.

In September, two teens were arrested after police said they were planning to bring an altered firearm to campus for a possible planned shooting on campus. Also that month, two Montgomery High students were arrested and a weapon was found following an investigation into a fight at a nearby middle school.

Increased gang violence among youth in Santa Rosa led to the recent reinstatement of the police department's Gang Crimes Team.

Parents have also launched a campaign to recall the president of the school board.

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