Cops arrest three students after large fight shakes SC bus, hospitalizes another

A student was hospitalized Tuesday after police responded to reports of a “large fight” on a school bus in South Carolina.
A student was hospitalized Tuesday after police responded to reports of a “large fight” on a school bus in South Carolina. Getty Images/iStockphoto

Three students were arrested in South Carolina after officers had to call for backup to break up a “large fight” on a school bus, police said Friday.

The James Island Charter High School students were charged with simple assault and released to their parents, according to the Charleston Police Department.

Two officers initially responded Tuesday to reports of the fight, police said.

“You could see the whole bus just shaking,” parent Keith Barrus told WCSC. “It was rattling back and forth.”

Police said they arrived at the scene on James Island around 4 p.m. and found the bus driver trying to contain the students on board while separating those that were fighting. A “large crowd” had also materialized outside the bus, according to a police report.

“(Officers) located all the offenders still on the bus screaming at each other from separate ends of the bus,” the report states.

WCSC reported Barrus was at the bus stop where the fight broke out, waiting to pick up his daughter. The driver reportedly told him to call the police.

According to the police report, which does not list names because they are minors, the students all attend James Island Charter High School.

The school is home to nearly 1,700 students and ranks in the top 50 high schools in the state, U.S. News reported.

A representative from the school did not immediately respond to McClatchy news group’s request for comment Wednesday.

Police who spoke with the students involved discovered two of them work together at Walmart. The pair had an argument the day before, police said, and one texted the other threatening about “coming to her residence to fight.”

The texts continued throughout the day Tuesday and on the school bus that afternoon, according to the report.

“(One student) advised (the other) that she did not want to fight on the bus, however she would fight when the bus stopped at EME apartments,” the report states. “(The other student) advised that she wanted to fight now and walked to the front of the bus with (her sister) to confront (the student).”

They reportedly hit her on the head at the same time, prompting the fight.

Police said several students and the bus driver had to intervene.

One of the sisters injured her fingernails and was bleeding from her fingers, according to the report.

The girl they were fighting said her hair was pulled, and police said another student not involved was stepped on.

First responders evaluated everyone involved. The student who was stepped on was taken to the Medical University of South Carolina while the others “refused treatments,” the report states.

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Hayley is a Real Time reporter at The Charlotte Observer covering breaking news and trending stories in the Carolinas. She also created the Observer’s unofficial bird beat (est. 2015) with a summer full of ornithological-related content, including a story about Barred Owls in love.