HAVERHILL, Mass. (AP) — Bad blood between two Massachusetts high schools resulted in several brawls and seven arrests following a basketball game this week.
The students from Haverhill and Methuen high schools between the ages of 16 and 18 were arraigned Wednesday following their arrest Tuesday. Five are from Methuen and two from Haverhill.
Haverhill police say about 200 unruly students gathered outside after Tuesday's game and several brawls broke out, despite an extra police presence.
Methuen police chief Joseph Solomon told Fox 25 that officers were tipped off to the potential brawl on social media.
"Over a week a couple of the players started taunting other players and it went back and forth. Typical school-yard things," said Solomon. "When it got on social media it went viral and built and built and built. The taunting became threats with the intent to start a fight."
Most students arrested were charged with disorderly conduct and admitted to a youth diversion.
Solomon credits the department's presence on social media as the reason extra officers were at the game but said it's hard to control a crowd that large.
"As you know, when things get out of control you never know how things are going to go," said Solomon.