A total of six individuals were arrested Wednesday by either the Canutillo Independent School District or the El Paso Police Department’s Gang Unit in connection with the string of fights reported at Canutillo High School and the surrounding area this week.
Three individuals, one juvenile and two adults, were arrested by CISD Police and EPPD and charged with engaging in organized criminal activity/assault – a state jail felony that can carry up to two years in jail. CISD Police also arrested three other juveniles who were charged with misdemeanor assault charges.
The three individuals charged with state felony charges were booked in the El Paso County Jail and given a $15,000 bond. More arrests are expected this week in connection with the fights.
“Thanks to the hard work of our police officers, as well as the administration and teachers at Canutillo High School, we are now able to bring to justice those students who placed others in danger,” said Superintendent Dr. Pedro Galaviz. “We hope to never have to resort to criminal charges for incidents happening in one of our schools, but we also know that holding people accountable is necessary when it comes to the safety of our students and staff.”
Canutillo High School responded to the student fights by increasing police presence and hallway monitoring by school administrators and teachers. Other lunchtime and class-transition protocols were updated as well.
“These changes are working and we appreciate all the cooperation from students and parents. Together we will continue to promote the true values of Canutillo High School, which these fights do not reflect,” said Principal Candice Marrufo.
Canutillo ISD Police said the school is safe and that contrary to reports, no weapons or drugs have been found on campus. Police also said that rumors that the school would be the site of fun violence have been investigated and deemed unreliable.
“I want to reassure parents and the community that our school is safe and that we would never allow classes or events to go on if we felt student and staff safety was compromised,” Marrufo said. “We invite parents and students to report any reports of potential violence to our office or to our police department.”