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Four Arrested After Fight Planned Through Text Messages

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Evanston Township High School (Credit: School Website)

Evanston Township High School (Credit: School Website)

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EVANSTON (CBS) – Four young men have been arrested in Evanston after taking part in a fight that police said was planned using text messaging.

Evanston police said that, around 3:50 p.m. Tuesday, officers assigned to monitor the dismissal of students from Evanston Township High School saw a large group of people watching two people fighting.

The officers tried to stop the fight and separate the combatants, but as they did, several other fights began to break out in the crowd, creating an “extremely volatile” situation, police said in a news release.

Police said the officers were forced into physical confrontations with several people involved in fights, who were ignoring police orders to stop fighting. One officer used his Taser to subdue one of the people involved in the fight.

Order was only restored after a large response by police. One officer was injured in the incident and four people were arrested, police said. All four were charged with two counts each of felony mob action.

Police identified the suspects as Jeffery Alan Craig II, 20, of Evanston; Nate Burton, 17, of Chicago; Deshawn Joseph Thomas, 19, of Evanston; and a juvenile male resident of Evanston.

Investigation determined that some of the combatants used their cell phones to send text messages planning the fight and informing others it would happen after school. Detectives confiscated the suspects’ cell phones as evidence.

The four suspects are due for a hearing at the Skokie Courthouse on Sept. 21.

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