By Rylee Holwager, Jose Herrera & Caleb Lunetta
Signal Staff Writers
After an approximately 50-year-old man and a teenager were captured brawling in a video posted to social media on Tuesday, sheriff’s officials on Thursday said they are still investigating the incident but that the man in the video has been identified.
The video, which circulated on various social media platforms Tuesday evening, shows a fight between an older man and a male teenager in a parking lot in Valencia.
“On Aug. 16, at approximately 3 p.m., a call for service was received regarding a male white adult, approximately 50 years old, engaged in a physical altercation with a male juvenile on the 24000 block of Copper Hill Drive in Valencia,” said Deputy Natalie Arriaga, a spokeswoman for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station. “The male left in a silver Tacoma prior to deputy arrival. Deputies arrived on scene and conducted an investigation.”
In the video, other people can be heard screaming “go get someone,” “get off” and “you’re choking him” while the man is on top of the teenager.
The one filming the brawl was eighth-grader Chase Devoll. Devoll confirmed that the teenager in the video was a friend of his.
The brawl took place in front of Havana Savannah, but Devoll said that is not where the incident began.
Devoll and his friends regularly visit Havana Savannah and Circle K, near Rio Norte Junior High School. On Tuesday, the friend group made their usual route from school to the establishments. The Circle K had reached full capacity, according to Devoll, and the group had started pushing their friends. The boy who would become involved in the fight with the man had accidentally been pushed into the man and the man became very irritated, Devoll said. The boy bantered with the man as his aggression grew.
“The guy took it really too far and then said, ‘I’ll be back,’” said Devoll.
The man followed up on his word, Devoll said.
As Devoll, the boy and others were making their way from Circle K to Havana Savannah, the man followed and caught up to the boy near the El Pollo Loco drive-through.
“He started getting faster and faster and starts grabbing him by the back and throws him to the ground,” said Devoll.
A physical brawl broke out between the two. Many gathered around screaming.
“It was just scary watching it happen,” said witness Lyla Abott.
Abott witnessed the tail end of the brawl and is a classmate of the boy who was involved. When asked if a physical altercation seemed like something he would willingly participate in, she said, “Definitely not, he’s nice.”
Devoll said that the situation escalated very fast.
“I knew that when we were arguing, that something was gonna happen,” said Devoll about choosing to shoot video of the incident. “I had a gut feeling.”
On Thursday, Arriaga said in a news release, “At this time, the male has been identified, however detectives will ensure a thorough investigation is completed before any arrests are executed.”
Anyone with information can contact the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station at 661-260-4000, anonymous tips can be submitted to LA Crime Stoppers by calling 800-222-TIPS (8477).
Parents share concerns
The William S. Hart Union High School District governing board addressed the matter during its regular meeting Wednesday.
Parents in attendance noted the off-campus incident near Rio Norte Junior High School. Parents in attendance voiced agreement in wanting the Hart district do something about off-campus safety, as they said other incidents are happening on the way home from school, too.