UPDATE: Fairfax County police said they will release more details about the juveniles arrested tomorrow. Their names will not be released.
Neither Langley High principal Matthew Ragone nor McLean High principal Dr. Deborah Jackson responded to requests for their comments.
ORIGINAL STORY. Fairfax County police arrested five juveniles in McLean Friday and charged them with public drunkenness during a series of disturbances involving hundreds of students from McLean and Langley following their crosstown game. The worst incidents occurred at the downtown McDonald's.
“We were outnumbered tremendously. We had three officers available and the crowd was being unruly. It was unsafe situation” for the community, Capt. Daniel Janickey, commander of the McLean Police District, said Tuesday.
"You had over 100 kids in there (at the McDonald's). They just took the place over. Some were intoxicated. They didn’t listen to management or police. The officers were trying to maintain order," he said. "This is a community and public safety issue."
Four of the arrests for public drunkenness occurred at the McLean High School, the site of the crosstown game which has engendered more passion than usual because both basketball teams are enjoying a banner year.
A fifth arrest was made during a melee at the McDonald's where police officers had to wade into the unruly crowd of perhaps up to 300, Janickey said.
Reacting to reports that a student was struck by an officer at McDonald's, Janickey said: Three officers went into the huge crowd inside McDonald's. One used a baton holding it parallel to the ground and walking forward trying to get to two individuals who were getting ready to fight. "There was no swinging of a police baton," he said.
"The officers were telling them to disperse and they were not listening. The officer did use his baton to hold one individual up against the wall. No one was ever struck with a baton,” Janickey said.
The police will conduct an administrative investigation into the incident, he said. It is standard policy to conduct an administrative investigation into allegations of force by officers, he said.
Anticipating a large crowd for the Friday game, the police had extra off-duty officers at McLean High School.
The Saxon Scope, Langley's award-winning student newspaper, reported a larger than normal crowd attended the game.
"The girl’s game started at 5:45. Everyone who arrived after the tip-off was told to get in a line in order to be admitted," the Scope reported. "By 6:30 the line stretched from the gym doors all the way down the long McLean hallway. Many police officers stood by to terminate Langley and McLean scuffles as well as make sure everyone waited their fair turn in line.
"Although the cops tried to regulate it, many people continued to cut the very competitive line," according to the Scope article. "Many people pushed and shoved in order to reach the front."
As the game ended, the police sent two to three police cruisers to the McDonald's “to try and monitor the crowd," Janickey said. McDonald's on Old Dominion Drive is a favorite gathering place for Langley and McLean students after games, and the scene or other disturbances between the two groups this basketball season.
"An officer there saw an altercation between two groups of kids and he intervened” in this incident outside of McDonald's, Janickey said.
“At this point large groups of kids started showing up. There were well over 100 kids in the McDonald's. . . The manager came running out and said there was a fight in the restaurant. They went to maintain order and control the crowd,” the captain said.
That's when the three officers went into the restaurant and one used his baton "trying to get to two individuals who were getting ready to fight," Janickey said.
"We are concerned here at the (police) station about the size of the crowd showing up at the games and afterward moving the community into local restaurants and getting into disturbances. It’s become a public safety issue,” Janickey said.
The police will work with the schools and businesses on “how we can resolve this from getting any worse,” he said.