Alcohol blamed for Tiyan school riot; 5 taken into custody

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Tiyan High School (PNC file photo)

It’s the second riot at a local high school in less than a week, this time at the home of the Titans and according to the Guam Department of Education, alcohol played a role in the riot.

Seven students were injured and five male individuals were taken into custody as a result of the riot at Tiyan high school this morning.

GDOE Spokeswoman Isa Baza says students with minor injuries were seen by the school nurse. Three students were transported to the hospital, two via ambulance.

PNC arrived on the scene at around 12:20 pm and saw GDOE school resource officers, GFD personnel, a Department of Agriculture Conservation officer, and GPD officers on site.

GPD Spokesman Sgt Paul Tapao was also on site to provide additional details.

“Shortly before 11:40 this morning, police dispatch received information from Tiyan High officials of a full-scale riot ongoing at the school campus. Officers from the Hagatna precinct command, the Tumon precinct command, and the southern and northern precinct command provided assistance for this riot,” Tapao said.

He says juvenile investigators have been activated to assume the case. Word of the riot came as students were just about to be released early from school at 12:45 p.m.

Baza says the riot prompted the initiation of a shelter in place procedure at around 11:45 a.m., which meant that no one could enter or leave the campus. She adds that: “Alcohol appears to have played a role in the two recent riots at GDOE high schools. There will be no tolerance for students found to be in possession of alcohol or intoxicated on school campuses. Any students found to be in violation of these rules will be disciplined accordingly.”

Meanwhile, a video sent to PNC depicts what appears to be a minor in handcuffs with a bandage around his head and wearing a face mask. In another video, a police officer appears to be trying to calm an individual detained in the backseat of a police cruiser. The individual can be heard swearing as the officer seems to tell the individual that he is going to jail.

“The Guam Police Department will work closely with Tiyan administration to include the Superintendent on the administrative level to address the issue. And we strongly ask that parents … please talk to your kids about what had happened today and what we can do collectively as a community to prevent this from happening not just here but throughout our island,” Tapao said.

This is not the first riot that has broken out in a local high school. Just last week, authorities and emergency personnel responded to JFK high school in Tamuning.

According to Tapao, as a result of that incident, at least two students were arrested one of whom was classified as an adult.

He added that videos circulating in social media will be used as evidence in the investigation.

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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.