Portsmouth assault seen on social media prompts several arrests

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (WLNE) — A fight caught on video at an elementary school playground in Portsmouth earlier this month has led to several minors facing criminal charges.

In a letter to parents, Superintendent Thomas Kenworthy said a fight happened on the weekend of May 6 at Hathaway Elementary School when school wasn’t in session.

Police said a 15-year-old was assaulted by a group of other students. The victim was allegedly “dragged on the ground, punched, and kicked.”

The four aggressors, police said, were arrested for the assault.

Police said a fifth minor was arrested for a “retaliatory assault” that happened the next day on East Main Road.

All five juveniles are Portsmouth residents who are between the ages of 13 to 15 years old, police said. They’ve been petitioned to family court.

“Both incidents are concerning and include behaviors not in keeping with our expectations for Portsmouth School Department students,” wrote Kenworthy.

As a result of the two incidents, Portsmouth police will increase their presence at all schools and playgrounds after hours.

Kenworthy said the Portsmouth School Committee will discuss the potential district policy implications for student incidents that happen outside of regulars school hours, especially those that take place on school property.

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