Five arrested in huge high school melee

Police arrested at least five students after breaking up a massive melee involving 400 to 500 people outside of a high school in Berkeley on Friday, according to a school official.

Between about 3:40 p.m. and 4:20 p.m., Berkeley police and Berkeley High School safety officers responded to some 15 to 20 fights that broke out in the area of Kittredge Street, Shattuck Avenue and Channing Way, Berkeley High School Principal Kristin Glenchur said.

Glenchur said the fights took place off campus and involved Berkeley High students, students from the Berkeley Technology Academy, students from San Leandro and Oakland and some adults.

More than 20 Berkeley police officers responded to the fights, along with the entire Berkeley High safety staff and administration, Glenchur said.

At least three Berkeley High students and two Berkeley Technology students were arrested, Glenchur said. More will face disciplinary action at their schools.

Glenchur said school officials were first alerted to reports of fighting at lunch on Friday on Shattuck Avenue. The high school’s administration alerted police, who increased their patrol presence in the area.

According to Glenchur, school employees noticed an increase in the number of people hanging around the campus who are not students at the school.

She said in a statement that there would likely be no impact on school operations next week:

“We will continue to call for additional safety presence if information supports the need and we will provide additional details to our families and community where it is relevant and appropriate to do so.”

Students are advised to avoid large crowds that are gathering, Glenchur said:

“When students run toward a fight it adds fuel to an already heated situation, makes it difficult to identify the parties who are involved and risks injury to innocent people.”

Police did not immediately return requests for comment.