Hostility toward Somali students at St. Louis Park High School from a mother and her children last week fueled a brawl that started in a hall and flared up again in the parking lot, according to charges.
The altercation led school officials to cancel all classes and activities the following day, Jan. 19.
Charged on Thursday in Hennepin County District Court were 19-year-old Jerome A. Smith, 22-year-old Abreeha A. Smith, and their mother, 41-year-old Latoys R. Milon.
The St. Louis Park family members were charged by summons. Court records do not yet show a court date for any of the three or list defense counsel for them. Messages were left with the family seeking a response to the allegations.
According to the charges:
Police were alerted on Jan. 18 about 2:15 p.m. that a parent was at the school threatening to beat up students. Officers met with an assistant principal and Milon, who said her 16-year-old daughter told her in a phone call that “she was jumped by multiple Somali females,” the criminal complaints read.
School surveillance video showed that the initial altercation involved Jerome Smith and a Somali male in a hall. The daughter who called her mother claiming that she was jumped “is seen [in the video] voluntarily entering the physical altercation at point and … throwing punches at another female student, contrary to what [she] initially reported,” the charges read.
An officer outside the school soon saw a disturbance involving Jerome Smith, Abreeha Smith, the 16-year-old daughter and a 14-year-old son of Milon’s “all actively fighting several Somali students, and has some pinned up against a vehicle,” the charges continued. “The group was actively punching, striking and grabbing several Somali students.”
As her children were fighting, Milon was yelling, swearing and gesturing toward Somali students. As additional officers arrived, Milon and her children got in a vehicle and left.
A Somali student told police that Milon’s 16-year-old daughter punched her without provocation. Another Somali student said Abreeha Smith punched her on the left side of her head.
Outside, another Somali student said he was confronted by the instigators and felt he was targeted because of his ethnic background. The ambush left him with cuts to his legs and facial injuries. Another Somali student said Jerome Smith choked her with both hands, and Abreeha Smith punched her in the head.