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Published: Friday, 4/16/2004

36 charter school students charged

Thirty-six students from two charter schools in the Macomber Building were charged yesterday in connection with fights that occurred after false fire alarms at the building in February.

Thirty-five juveniles and an 18-year-old were charged in connection with the Feb. 9 melee at 1501 Monroe St. in which numerous students were suspended or expelled.

The fights were between students from the Toledo Accelerated Academy and the Alliance Academy of Toledo.

Police filed 57 felony charges, including aggravated riot, inducing panic for pulling the fire alarms, and assault on staff members who were trying to break up the fights.

One inducing-panic charge was filed against a student who pulled a false fire alarm the week before. All five false alarms were pulled on the Toledo Accelerated Academy side of the building.

Two misdemeanor criminal trespass charges were also filed against one student from each of the charter schools. The students were at the building even though they were suspended, police said.

The students, who range in age from 12 to 18, will be summoned into court or will have warrants issued for their arrest.

The charges against the youths were filed in Lucas County Juvenile Court. The case against the 18-year-old from the Alliance Academy was filed in Toledo Municipal Court.

Four fire alarms were falsely set off and two fights took place outside the building. One student was hurt while trying to evacuate the building.

Police said it appears the brawls stemmed from students getting upset because the false alarms were pulled, sending them out into the cold. Tempers flared, words and gang signs were exchanged, and the fights began.

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