In response to fights at last week’s football game, authorities and school system officials have plans in place to ensure that students attending tonight’s Eastside High School’s game at Sharp Stadium can do so without fear.
According to Capt. Ken Malcolm of the Covington Police Department, while officers always work the game and patrol the area, they will be focusing on certain areas tonight, both before, during and after the game, which is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. Eastside is facing Locust Grove High School.
"We’re as prepared as we can be at this point," said Malcolm, who added that fights do happen at football games, but the incident last week was a rarity, and not one that authorities take lightly.
After the Sept. 3 game between Newton and Eastside high schools, at least two incidents were reported where students were assaulted in the area of Mill Street and Newton Drive. One boy was sent to the hospital; another boy and a girl were attacked but did not require medical attention. According to reports, during each attack, the aggressors identified themselves as "CBT."
The Newton County School System has always hired off-duty officers to work security at games, according to Malcolm, and the Newton County Sheriff's Office School Resource Officers orchestrate security coverage inside the stadium. However, there were some 10,000 fans at last week's game between Newton and Eastside High schools, and the sheer volume of people diminished the presence of officers and deputies.
Detectives are continuing to determine whether CBT refers to a gang.
"If [CBT] is a gang, it's not a well-established one," said Malcolm, who added they do have leads.
Detectives also advised parents to keep an eye on their children while at the football games.
While no one has been arrested, Detective Daniel Seals said that it is on the "front burner" and that several detectives are working on the incident. Detectives are still seeking witnesses.
"We always need the assistance of witnesses," said Seals. "The public has the key to this."
Seals and Malcolm urged witnesses to the fights to send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or to contact the office at (770) 786-7605. All tips can be given anonymously. Witnesses can also come into the office to speak with detectives.