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Tucson Police & TUSD say a parent sparked Tucson High fight

TPD: Dad agrees "could have handled things better"
Posted at 7:38 PM, May 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-04 22:38:25-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — TUSD says the father of two Tucson High Students triggered a large fight there.

Wait ‘til you hear what the father had to say.

TUSD’s Superintendent Gabriel Trujillo says the district got a tip trouble was brewing between two groups and did a good job of defusing it, until the kids—and maybe parents— went home and used social media to inflame things again.

Tuesday, Tucson High called a man named Willie Smith and asked him to take his kids home for being part of the earlier trouble.

An interim criminal complaint from Tucson Police says, “Smith was advised by school staff and School Safety officers to leave campus with his sons through the back exit and not through campus."

Police say instead, Smith took his sons through the already tense central courtyard, saying: "If it's going down, it's going down here."

Superintendent Trujillo says Smith did more than take his kids through a tense area–he ended up in a fight himself, with TUSD surveillance video showing the man with his hands around a student’s neck.

Trujillo says, “The sight of the adult, the parent, attacking the student, one of the friends of the large group of friends that was in this student's camp, if you will, at that point became a flashpoint and at that point, all bets were off.”

Images shot during the fight show what appears to be Willie Smith fighting with students. A man in a red shirt is the only adult shown who is not in police uniform, school security uniform or wearing school credentials.

Now Smith is charged with disrupting an educational institution. That’s a Class 6 Felony that carries a potential prison sentence of four months to just under six years. One 15 year old student was arrested for disorderly conduct/fighting.

Police say Smith told them he didn’t go out the back gate because no one told him what his sons had done wrong.

Police say, “He agreed he could have handled things better.”

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