Police break up large melee at Hilo High


Five juveniles, four boys and a girl, were arrested Friday afternoon after police were called to Hilo High School to quell a large affray between students.

State Department of Education spokesman Alex Da Silva said the fight started at about 1:20 p.m., just as school was letting out for the day.

“(Hawaii Police Department) was called at the time to help control the situation and they arrived on campus about five minutes later. At about 1:50 p.m., it was brought under control,” Da Silva said. He said that Hilo High School Principal Robert Dircks told him “the fight spilled over out into the street and the surrounding area.”

Lt. Alan Kimura of the Hilo Patrol Division said about 20 students were involved in the melee, and the juveniles arrested ranged in age from 15 to 17. He said the boys were arrested on suspicion of assault and disorderly conduct, the girl on suspicion of theft. None had been charged with any offenses at press time. All were to be released to parents or guardians, he said.

A police spokeswoman said no adults were arrested.

Da Silva said there were minor injuries both to students involved in the conflict and to campus security personnel.

The police spokeswoman said no one was hospitalized or required medical attention.

“We haven’t determined what was the underlying motive of this fight,” Da Silva said. Some of the security officers are gathering facts, writing down what they saw, what they heard. Monday, the principal will do an assessment.”

Two students, both of whom spoke anonymously, said the fight was between “local” and Micronesian students.

“It broke out between two groups of students, then others rushed in and joined it,” one of the students said.

“The fight started at school, and then the bell rang, and then a whole group of people just went down to Hilo Terrace (apartments) and they started fighting,” another said. “It was crazy. Everyone was fighting.”

The second student said at least one student was tased, but the police spokeswoman called that “false information.”

Da Silva said that school will “resume as normal” on Monday.

“The principal did say that he will probably request some HPD support that day, just in case, as a precaution,” Da Silva said.

John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.