Police in Montgomery County, Maryland, have arrested at least one person after a fight broke out Friday night during a high school football game at Gaithersburg High School.
The incident happened just before 8:30 p.m. during the third quarter of a varsity football game between Gaithersburg and Northwest high schools.
A source told WTOP that the incident began as players from both teams started fighting each other on the field. Coaches from both teams attempted to stop the skirmish but ended up fighting each other.
Didn’t catch the whole thing. But both benches are cleared. Games called pic.twitter.com/tbwP2t3Yd2
— Kyle Walsh (@Kdub_335) September 17, 2022
According to the Gaithersburg Police Department, as officers attempted to address the situation on the field, other “physical altercations began to break out” throughout the property including the parking lot.
Police arrested “a few individuals” involved in fights around school property but did not say if any student-athletes or coaches were taken into custody.
One school staff member was taken to the hospital with a non-life-threatening injury, while another person was treated at the scene. Police said one officer was injured during the incident but did not require medical attention.
Game officials called the game off with 1:15 remaining in the 3rd quarter with Northwest leading 14-0.
Gaithersburg police will lead the investigation as to what caused the fight.
Montgomery County Public Schools issued a statement saying that it “strongly condemns the abhorrent and unacceptable behavior.” The football programs at both schools have been temporarily suspended while the investigation is ongoing.
“The district is swiftly moving to develop and implement enhanced measures for safety at any athletic event and will communicate those to our community in the coming days,” the statement says.
Montgomery County schools also says it will “pursue disciplinary actions against any individuals who are found to have participated in this large altercation, while working to bring communities together around the importance of upholding safe and respectful environments.”
Gaithersburg Principal Cary Dimmick and Northwest Principal Scott Smith issued a joint message addressing the Friday night fight, which they called “extremely disturbing.” The principals say they are updating plans to ensure safety at upcoming school events.
“We wish to be very clear that together we strongly condemn this unacceptable behavior that occured [sic] at the football game,” the principals say.
The principals say “Following a thorough investigation, disciplinary actions against any individuals (students or adults) who are found to have participated in these actions will be issued.”
It is the second time in a week that fights broke out during a high school football game in Maryland.
On Sept. 10, a game in Frederick County had to go on without spectators after two separate fights broke out in the stands.
WTOP’s Hugh Garbrick contributed to this story.