Brawl Ensues After High School Football Game

Police say fights broke out between West Essex and James Caldwell High School students after Saturday's game.

A local football rivalry turned ugly Saturday when teens from opposing high schools got in a brawl shortly after a close game.

Police say a large fight broke out in the parking lot of Chipotle in West Caldwell after the James Caldwell High School varsity home game against West Essex ended with the Caldwell Chiefs losing, 17-14, in the final seconds.

Three teens face charges and police say additional charges are pending. The boys, who have not been identified because they are minors, could also face disciplinary action at school.

Police officers from West Caldwell, assisted by Caldwell, North Caldwell, Essex Fells and Fairfield, spent more than an hour on the scene trying to break up the large and unruly crowd. 

Before the Chipotle fight, police responded to the intersection of Lane Avenue and Park Street and found a group of students from both schools. Several students reported being assaulted, according to police.

Caldwell-West Caldwell Schools Superintendent James Heinegg said, according to a recent ruling, schools may take disciplinary action in incidents that occur off school grounds if there is a connection "between the student’s conduct and the orderly administration of the school.” 

Heinegg said, "Once we receive a final report about this particular event, we will analyze the situation based on that test and proceed accordingly."

Teri Carr September 25, 2012 at 04:49 PM
One of the unfortunate consequences in which this type of behavior results is the skewed perception concerning youngsters that the public can be left with. For example, Susan McGraw Keber says that she is grieved that "her hometown has lost dignity." I understand your sentiments, Susan, and I know that this type of incident is upsetting to everyone. However, I can happily report that this is neither the typical behavior exhibited by area students nor is it tolerated. Unfortunately, we don't often hear about the many wonderful students who attend games and behave appropriately, those who volunteer their time and services, and those who win awards. They attend both West Essex and JCHS. Let's encourage them!
Igor September 25, 2012 at 05:00 PM
I am no longer a student, but I saw the video of the "brawl". It was one kid from each school and another West Essex student joined in for about 5 seconds and then he stopped. There should be no assault charge because I fight is a fight. Either kid could have won and they both threw punches, but one kid landed them better than the other. If one of them gets assault, they both should.
Igor September 25, 2012 at 05:00 PM
a* fight is a fight. my bad
Barbara September 25, 2012 at 05:40 PM
I am disappointed in what I am reading here. Brawl, assault, whatever you want to call it....no person has the right to strike another. Period. It's shame that the schools can't get along better. I would leave any type of punishment up to the school and/or police to handle. I understand our schools are rivals, but this is ridiculous. I can only hope that the students/people involved have learned a valuable lesson.
AD September 25, 2012 at 08:40 PM
To the lady again: four different police departments were called simply because police in this area overreact to small situations because no legitimate crimes happen in our area. It was just a fight. Also, stop saying "it's just a football game, don't fight about it". It's not just about football, more often then not, students know each other personally through other things and dislike each other. It's not just the football, it's the two schools in general. Once again, it was just a small fight, keep believing everything you read and hear.
Winston September 25, 2012 at 08:42 PM
I couldn't agree more with CE.. Susan we are here to express our opinions concerning the behavior of young adults and not to make them feel inferior by using words that can certainly be used as simpler words
rosa September 25, 2012 at 08:47 PM
First of all it wasn't 2 on 1..replying to SAHARA, you also should get your story straight on who is posting the videos, before posting your opinion...As far as the chaos, there were about 100 kids who were involved don't point the finger at one school, both were clearly involved.
SuzyScuba September 25, 2012 at 09:34 PM
As I said in one of my posts...my sentiments are not encompassing the entire student body of either school, nor the entire young adult population. As for assumption...the content of the article is what I am commenting on. If there is additional information the young adults should write to the reporter and/or, the editor. I am a reader...not a witness to this event. There are indeed wonderful young adults everywhere...and I applaud those individuals for their community services and time. I am delighted to know this Teri...and was sure of it before I wrote here. Thank you.
SuzyScuba September 25, 2012 at 09:55 PM
To all students here...sorry there is stress between the schools. I went to both schools when I was a young adult. Not everyone likes everyone else. That is normal. What is important is people strive to be civilized to avoid confrontations like this. Perhaps there's a way to bridge the differences that is constructive? Winston: As an adult, I express myself with common words I am familiar with as I believe most people in general are. I am certain everyone understands what I have written and write here. Most of it is common sense. I reiterate; it's a shame there was a fight at all...and if the town is being over zealous in their response then it is wasteful and I understand how that can happen given that we live in a small town where the police are reactionary without cause and can exacerbate the actual event with the media. Contact the author of this publication and report what you know and saw. The author no doubt is waiting to write something again...I'll bet on it. P.S. I don't normally subscribe to this edition of The Patch...an article prompted me to sign in...and I discovered this news. I don't live in the Caldwell's and haven't for years. I do attend reunions...decades after graduation fights and disagreements no longer matter to people...a strong bond and camaraderie have brought us all together...we've all been through life's good and bad times...we appreciate each other as people. I hope the same for all of you. That's all!
Rockyb September 26, 2012 at 01:10 AM
The police were dealing with multiple incidents at once including the assault of a Caldwell student near the high school. The police didn't over react they called for assistance as they did not have enough man power to handle the the multiple calls. Did you see the video of the kids inside of the Chipotle? Dozens of kids took over the entire restaurant. Cursing, screaming, standing on tables running behind the counter and disrupting the business is what got the cops to the area. Real civilized way to act. Even if the fights didn't break out you kids should all be ashamed of yourselves for acting like absolute idiots. YouTube the video, if its even left on there and see for yourselves our youth acting like their behavior is normal.
TFP September 26, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Rockyb said it best. The kids inside the restaurant were out of control. That was more disturbing then the two meatheads throwing a few punches out in the parking lot.
NB September 26, 2012 at 04:40 PM
@BBB I posted my comment at 9 PM. It wasn't approved and submitted until 10 AM, therefore I wasn't online during school. I'm sure the same goes for my other fellow students.
annie i September 26, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Such a shame that there needs to be fighting over a game-- I was not there and have no idea what the exact circumstances are-- there is never one side that is 100% right- and it appears the West Essex kids are being blamed for the whole thing- either way-- these kids are old enough to know better-- it is only a game
annie i September 26, 2012 at 09:27 PM
As a West Essex parent- I think it is silly - in general kids today are not being raised to respect each other, or anyone else. Again-- really disappointing
joe g September 27, 2012 at 08:04 AM
The West Essex kids should be blamed for this "brawl". The students of both schools know that Caldwell kids have been going to chipotle after every home game since it has opened. They went there with an intent to start a fight, just look at the amount of West Essex kids were there compared to the Caldwell kids.
TFP September 27, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Well, if so many Caldwell kids "always" go to Chipotle after every home game... where were they that day? Last time I checked it was a restaurant open to the general public... not just Caldwell kids on game day.
CH September 27, 2012 at 09:05 PM
You Susan should not pass judgement on an incident or individuals that you know nothing about. It grieves you to think that "your hometown has lost dignity" since you pass judgement I am going to pass judgement on you. You probably are against lights on the baseball fields, turf for the fields, no community buildings, Chiefs as a name or the obvious you were denied a taco on Saturday.
JL JCHS class of 06 September 27, 2012 at 09:36 PM
these fights have been going on for a long long time, its part of growing up in our area and while i do not condone it, I know it is not the end of world scenario its being made out to be. We used to fight on bloomfield ave behind dunkin donuts, its hard to argue who instigated the fight but it should be noted that the fight took place in West Caldwell. This is being blown out of proportion kids will be kids...glad no one got hurt thats all that matters...
Craig September 27, 2012 at 09:50 PM
Sometimes pride for yourself, your family, your school and your community make you react instead of thinking things out. It appears that this is what happened after the game on Saturday. No one should be pointing fingers or calling children names especially those who know nothing about the incident or the individuals involved.
joe g September 28, 2012 at 09:09 PM
The Caldwell kids did intact go to chipotle that day. Yes, any person knows that Chipotle is open to general public but why would so many West Essex kids plan to go to the same spot they know the Caldwell kids are going to. Did they go there to eat because it didn't look like that. They went there looking to cause trouble. I didn't see many West Essex kids eating while I was getting my food I saw them being loud and saying inappropriate things. I saw both schools students screaming in Chipotle and to no surprise it was mostly West Essex kids and they were standing on table and chairs. I also saw the "brawl" and guess what the two West Essex kids started that as well. One started to wrestle the Caldwell kid as the other threw punches.
gregory l. mitchell September 28, 2012 at 11:00 PM
Firstly,Susan McGraw Keber allow me to commend you for having the courage to sign your name to your posts.It's too bad that many others don't have the BACKBONE to do so! Now,if it took the police from 4 towns ONE HOUR to quell this disturbance,common sense would dictate this "riot"was more than a few students acting up.Judging this and what has happened at the Kiwanis Oval this past couple of weeks,I sometimes wonder where some of our youth are headed.This "riot" in a man's establishment makes me feel proud of one thing-I am a graduate of Grover Cleveland High School..Respectfully,Gregory L. Mitchell, West Caldwell
Jordan September 29, 2012 at 04:04 AM
Annie I, parent of the year, please tell us the secrets to raising well respected children. Because if you ask me, all the children I run into have a lot of respect for each other. Not going to let one incident ruin for everyone else.
Cj September 29, 2012 at 03:24 PM
Hey it's football stuff happens and as a player for Caldwell this make me can't wait for next year.
Mark September 30, 2012 at 03:48 PM
I saw video from this that was posted on Youtube. From the video I saw dozens students from both schools standing on top of tables and chairs chanting curse words towards the other school. Both schools students looked equally at fault from the video. Teenagers want to be treated like adult. Shame they can't act like one.
Sahara Coleman September 30, 2012 at 05:35 PM
It should not be tolerated but whats crazy is when the winning team start problems why not take the win home and just be happy SMH... as if it wasnt enough they go to Chipotle Rest where they knew Caldwell kids went after the game and created another disturbance there...
Sahara Coleman September 30, 2012 at 05:49 PM
TO ROSA first of all before the Chipotle incident it was a 2 on 1 on Lane if you weren't aware and 2nd of all they did post videos and tweets abt both incidents which i saw and have therefore i can point the finger at West Essex Thank You =) Next time u outta make sure u have all ur lil facts together before making a comment
Sahara Coleman September 30, 2012 at 05:57 PM
To CE the so called brawl did not occur because of personal problems the girls didnt even know each other, West Essex girls tried picking on something that they thought they can bully which is unacceptable so in my opinion is does reflect bad sportsmanship/support for those involved which makes the school look bad even though thats unfair
Sahara Coleman September 30, 2012 at 06:04 PM
I agree with u Teri but on the other side something should be done to the ones that behave in this manner, these are things that happen but they need to be dealt with so that the next time they will think abt it twice before acting this way again, how unfair is it for the kids that just want to go watch the game and support their school to get picked on or hit etc etc, we have to protect our kids no matter which way u look at it if they were adults it would be considered a crime and dealt with in a diffrent fashion
Sahara Coleman September 30, 2012 at 06:06 PM
Igor on that note i agree with u however i think u might have seen an edited video the one i saw it was more like 3 on one yeah
Sahara Coleman September 30, 2012 at 08:08 PM
@ Annie FYI the first fight had nothing to do with football a few west essex girls picked on a girl they thought they can bully cause she was small and pretty im sure if she was a bigger girl they would not have did that they were walking behind her asking if she wanted to fight for no reason and she said no and both west essex girls hit the girl but guess what she defended herself well to their surprise and the same 2 girls along with others from west essex tweeted abt what they did and thought it was so funny its a shame and a cowardly act to jump someone just because if the shoe was on the other foot im sure they would feel the same way, I do hope the school is notified and are taking action this is totally unacceptable


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