Principal: 'Factions' to blame for Urbana High fights


Listen to this article

URBANA — Two more Urbana High School freshmen identified as being involved in a gang-related brawl Monday at the school have been criminally charged with mob action.

The boys, each 15, appeared Wednesday in juvenile court, where Judge Tom Difanis ordered they be held in the Juvenile Detention Center at least until their Feb. 15 status hearings. Difanis also appointed lawyers for each of the teens.

State's Attorney Julia Rietz laid out the same facts for Difanis on Wednesday as she did for Judge Heidi Ladd on Tuesday in the cases of six co-defendants.

Rietz said Urbana police learned that a series of fights Monday morning at school were a continuation of a fight between seven members of the "On My Brother" gang against three members of an unnamed rival group.

The two boys arraigned Wednesday had fled the school Monday after the main brawl near and inside the cafeteria that resulted in a teacher being injured. They were found at their homes Tuesday afternoon and arrested.

Rietz said one boy admitted his role in the fight while the other refused to talk to police on the advice of his mother's boyfriend. The boy who refused to cooperate had two prior police contacts, Rietz said.

Difanis explained to both boys that they face penalties upon conviction ranging from probation to up to three years in prison.

Meantime, Urbana police continue to look for others they believe were identified in the fighting.

Police said there were no problems at the school Wednesday.


Mary Schenk is a reporter covering police, courts and breaking news at The News-Gazette. Her email is, and you can follow her on Twitter (@schenk).