Police: Race not an issue in Ronkonkoma brawl
Police say nine Connetquot students were arrested this week, three weeks after a brawl broke out between two groups of teenagers.
Four of those arrested in the off-campus fight are being charged as juveniles. The remaining five are being charged as adults, including Justin Altiery-Deabreau and Charles Loomis, both 16. They were charged with assault.
Detective Lt. John O'Brien says one teen showed up with brass knuckles and another tried to stab someone with an X-Acto knife. The mother of Corbett Robinson, one of the juveniles charged in the case, admitted that he brought a bat to the brawl. She said he was defending himself after being subjected to months of racial slurs.
Police say race was not an issue that led to the brawl.
"It initially started with name calling in the high school back in the beginning of February between a few individuals," said O'Brien. "It escalated over the monthlong period to where these individuals ultimately agreed to meet for a fight and then other individuals came to observe the fight."
The students are facing various charges including criminal possession of a weapon and harassment. Authorities say they are still looking for a 10th suspect in the case.