An armed concealed carrier rescued a police officer last Friday from a throng of rowdy teens near Upper Darby High School, Philly.com reports.
“There were 40 kids. If it wasn’t for the good Samaritan stepping forward, he’d have been dead meat,” Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood told the paper. “There’s no doubt they would have attacked him.”
Each afternoon, as the school day ends, upwards of 4,000 teens take to the streets. Many times, there are no altercations. But last Friday, for whatever reason, three fights broke out near the school.
One of the fights took place on Wayne Avenue near Marshall Road. The responding officer initially succeeded in breaking up the fight. However, it didn’t last long as one of the combatants began attacking the officer.
“As he breaks up the fight, he takes one kid and then the other jumps [on] him. Now he’s fighting two of them and he’s calling for an assist officer at the same time,” Chitwood said. “There’s a crowd of 40 or 50 kids watching the fight, and they all move in towards the officer.”
But when seconds counted, the officer’s backup was minutes away. Thankfully, a good Samaritan saw the incident from his home not too far from the scene and decided to come to the officer’s aid.
“He had the gun in his hand, but he didn’t point it at the kids, he just told them to back off,” Chitwood said. “If this guy didn’t come out and come to the aid of the officer, this officer would have had significant problems.”
The gun owner has not been identified, but according to reports he is a 35-year-old Upper Darby resident with a valid concealed carry permit.
The responding officer suffered significant “hand injuries,” according to Chitwood, and another officer, who heard the call for backup, also suffered an injury to the leg after one of the teens kicked him.
The two students who fought were arrested and charged with aggravated assault on police, riot, harassment and other related offenses. They were taken into custody at the Delaware County juvenile detention center.
In total, eight students were arrested in the various fights around the school. Six of the eight attend Upper Darby High.
“There’s thousands of kids that walk to and from that school without a problem, but every once in a while you get these wannabe gangsters, and if they want to be gangsters, we’ll treat them like gangsters,” Chitwood said.
Police have increased the after-school patrols twofold following the Friday afternoon fights.
“Our goal is to make sure these kids get home safe,” Chitwood said. “I can’t emphasize it enough, but the majority of these kids are decent kids.”