Several people including officers assaulted at Upstate basketball game

Updated: Feb. 3, 2014 at 6:01 PM EST
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(Photo Source: WYFF)
(Photo Source: WYFF)

WARE SHOALS, SC (WYFF) - Ware Shoals Police say several people were assaulted including two police officers after a brawl broke out at the end of a high school basketball game in the Upstate.  Charges have been filed against several students, and more arrests are expected, police said.

Two officers were at the Ware Shoals High School on Friday night during the game against Tamassee-Salem High School.  One of the officers said during the last few minutes of the game, words were being exchanged between two players on the opposing teams.

The officer said in anticipation of a possible fight breaking out, he and the other officer moved to the court as soon as the clock ran out.  The officer said as the teams were about to shake hands, a Tamassee-Salem player, who has not yet been identified, called a Ware Shoals player a racial slur, causing that player to "throw a punch."

The officer said when that happened, the stands emptied and a huge brawl broke out between the schools.  The officer said he was hit in the mouth by a female student. A second officer was thrown to the ground and hit several times in the face and head, according to the police report.   As the officers radioed for assistance, they said they saw a boy jump on a girl in the stands, knock her down, and punch her repeatedly. That girl later required medical treatment for her injuries.

Officers from Greenwood and Abbeville counties and Highway Patrol troopers responded to the school, and the students were cleared from the gym. 

An officer said the crowd then moved to the area of the parking lot where the visiting team's bus was located, and it was apparent to the officers that the crowd intended to start more trouble.  A fight broke out, and officers put two of those involved in handcuffs.

Three people were charged with disorderly conduct. Officers are seeking an assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature warrant against another person and disorderly conduct warrants against two others. 

Tamassee-Salem Athletic Director and Basketball Coach Ed Frye contacted WYFF and said he disagrees with what police said happened, and that no player on his team used a racial slur.  He also said he did not think officers were close enough to the fight to have heard anything that was said.

The police report said charges are pending against several other people once they are identified.

Ware Shoals police said they are reviewing video of the brawl as part of the investigation.

A statement from Dr. Fay Sprouse, Greenwood District 51, said, "We are regretful and embarrassed by the behavior of a few of our players that occurred just after the basketball ballgame Friday night.  Administrators have responded according to guidelines set forth in our Student Code of Conduct and our Student Athletes' Handbook.  Consequences are harsh for fighting because we can't and won't tolerate that type of behavior.  Other consequences will be applied by the SC High School League and law enforcement."

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