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Parents outraged after 10 players are charged following fight at high school game

Posted at 6:25 AM, Jan 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-28 13:11:56-05

A high school game turning to fists and blows. 10 basketball players from Harker Heights and Copperas Cove were charged this week, after a fight broke out during their Varsity Men’s Basketball game last week.

A mother of one of the juveniles charged from Copperas Cove basketball team, who wants to remain anonymous, is speaking out.

“He was trying to help his friend he wasn’t trying to hurt anybody or harm anybody. None of them were,” said the mother.

“Those little boys were not fighting, the weren’t rioting. They were protecting each other,” said Harker Heights parent James Smith.

Parents of those arrested from the Harker Heights squad, also spoke out at A Tuesday School Board meeting.

Both sides say the police and schools are blowing the situation way out of proportion.

“I think this Copperas Cove school district is taking this to an extreme and they’re making examples out of these children, because of the incident they had previously the school year,” said Smith.

Parents believe the district, law-enforcement, referees and coaching staff did not do enough to contain the situation and now they are taking out on the kids.

“When that boy got hit those kids want to protect their teammate. Nobody stepped in. Nobody,” said Smith.

Copperas Cove Police issued misdemeanor charges of riot participation, to seven of the players, including 3 juveniles. Criminal Justice Expert Lynn Greenwood with TAMUCT explains.

“It basically means the assembly of seven or more persons that results in conduct, in this case I believe, create an eminent or immediate danger of damage of property or injury to persons,” said the Copperas Cove mother.

6 of 10 the students charged were arrested. All ten students were arraigned by Coryell County Justice of the Peace John Guinn and recieved $3,000 surety bonds.

Greenwood said under the Texas Law, the charges are at the officer's discretion, as a person can be charged even if they do not harm anyone or damage property. We reached out to Copperas Cove PD but they did not comment.The investigation is still ongoing.

Statement from KISD:

Killeen ISD takes public safety very seriously, and the recent events that occurred during a Harker Heights High School varsity basketball game at Copperas Cove High School will never be tolerated and have resulted in the suspension of student-athletes and could have legal implications.

Two athletes have been suspended from the basketball program for the remainder of the 2021-2022 school year and 11 athletes will be suspended for last week’s game against Belton.

All students identified as partaking in the event will be held accountable according to the KISD Student Code of Conduct and appropriate consequences determined by the Harker Heights High School administration to include suspension from school and discipline hearing for possible placement at DAEP.

Additionally, we will have an increased presence of KISD police officers at all remaining home games and additional administrative support to ensure that future events are enjoyed by both home and visiting fans alike. Negative behavior by the athletic participants or spectators will not be tolerated and will result in the loss of privileges to attend athletic events at Harker Heights High School.

Once again, Killeen ISD does not condone the behavior demonstrated on last Tuesday night’s and will work with local law enforcement as needed.

Statement from Copperas Cove ISD:

Please be advised that the misconduct at the 1/18 varsity boys basketball game resulted in two players being suspended for the remainder of the season and four players suspended for one game.