Family: Student spent night in jail after being wrongfully accused in school fight

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A brawl unfolded Monday afternoon inside Madison High School with students swinging fists back and forth.

During the fight, a 16-year-old girl was arrested for allegedly punching a teacher. She spent one night in jail until school officials realized the girl was innocent, her family says.

"I was furious because my family member was going to jail for no reason," freshman DemTrell Theodore said.

Theodore told ABC13 that he was one of the students in the video. He claimed another student swung at him when his relative, Trinity Milton, tried to pull them off each other.

"I was trying to stop the fight and then he (another student) swung at me," Milton said. "When they put us in the office, they said we were going to jail for assault."

She said police charged her with assaulting a teacher and took her to jail.

"They handcuffed me, they did my fingerprints and stuff," Milton said.

Her mother, Shamanika Scales, said she was scared her daughter was taken to jail.

"She was scared. I was scared. I didn't think I would be picking her up from jail. No parent wants to see their child in jail for a misunderstanding, miscommunication or for a lack of evidence," Scales said.
Family members said the charges were dropped after the teacher said he identified the wrong student.

"I didn't get a 'sorry' or apology. Only thing I got was 'she's not suspended for three days anymore, she's just suspended for one,'" Scales said. "Why is she suspended for one day if it wasn't her?"

Other family members said they want a public apology and for school officials to be held responsible.

Full statement from HISD:
"HISD police and Madison High School staff responded to a fight between several students on Monday. While attempting to restore peace, an officer and a teacher were allegedly assaulted. Charges against those allegedly responsible for the assault were presented to the District Attorney's Office and those charges were accepted. Regrettably, one student was misidentified by an eyewitness. On Tuesday, the district obtained cell phone video which revealed that the identification was erroneous and as a result, HISD police took immediate steps to inform the District Attorney's Office. The charge was subsequently dropped. The district takes the safety of our students, teachers and its peace officers very seriously and will continue to take steps to ensure that are schools are safe for learning."

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