Adults start brawling over baby daddy visitation.
A rush of punching and pushing during a kindergarten graduation ceremony Monday put a Mount Healthy elementary school on lockdown.
Police say Raymond Walker, 33, started the fight with another man during the event at North Elementary School. The brawl then spread from two to about 20 people, witnesses said.
“It was horrible,” Kim Calai said. “I’m standing there, and all of a sudden this rush of people throwing punches is coming at me.”
Calai’s son was graduating in the ceremony when the melee broke out.
She said the children on stage witnessed violence between several parents.
“There was a gentleman who was carrying a newborn that got hit,” she said.
School officials removed Walker and another man from the building at 2170 Struble Rd. at about 11:30 a.m. Officials said Walker is the parent of a child at the school.
Six police cruisers responded to the scene shortly after. The Mount Healthy City School District superintendent was also called.
Authorities said the school was placed on lockdown during the incident, and students were told to take shelter in their classrooms. Children taking part in the ceremony were removed from the gymnasium.
Police charged Walker with assault and felony inducing panic. Authorities said he is not in custody because he left the school before officers arrived.
“(Walker was charged) because it occurred on school grounds, created an alarm to all the individuals, caused the lockdown and caused the evacuation,” Springfield Police Sergeant Scott Hughes said. “This was more than just a couple people fighting.”
Stacy Liggett, who was at the event when the fight broke out, said people in the audience were pushing one another.
“You could tell from the beginning that something was going to happen,” Liggett said. “It sickens me.”
Liggett called the fight “scary,” and said she was worried about the safety of the children nearby.