San Mateo, CA – On June 2, 2023, at approximately 9:38 a.m., San Mateo Police Department officers responded to San Mateo High School located at 506 North Delaware Street on the report of a fight involving a knife.
Officers arrived quickly and secured the scene for medics to safely treat a juvenile male victim who sustained a concussion and knife wound. Shortly after securing the scene for medics, SMPD discussed the situation with school officials and requested “secure campus” protocol for the school.
Secure campus is an immediate action response which directs all students and staff to go indoors, to lock the doors, and to remain inside until otherwise directed.
SMPD officers initiated an investigation and learned two San Mateo High Summer School students were involved in a verbal argument on campus. One student punched another student. The second student responded by punching the first student, which caused the first student to experience blurry vision and lose consciousness. A third student joined the fight.
He grabbed and held the first student’s hands behind his back as the second student pulled out a knife from his pants’ pocket and attempted to stab the first student in the abdomen. The first student freed himself enough from the third student’s grasp to avoid serious injury. The knife only grazed his abdomen, causing a small superficial laceration. After the involved parties were separated, school staff detained second student.
SMPD located and detained the third student. After continuing the investigation, SMPD officers arrested the second and the third student. Officers transported and booked them into Hillcrest for assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a weapon on school grounds, and conspiracy.
During SMPD’s on scene investigation, a large group began attacking one person at the bus loop on campus. As officers approached the area, the group of attackers ran westbound on Poplar Avenue towards Delaware Street. SMPD officers observed the group enter an Acura MDX and flee the scene. Officers canvassed the area and located the Acura traveling on North Claremont Street near East Santa Inez Avenue. Six passengers exited the vehicle and walked away. The Acura then continued traveling at a high rate of speed on N. Claremont.
As the officers contacted the group, an officer observed one of the group throw clothing and a satchel under a parked vehicle. After the officer located a firearm in the satchel, he ordered the group to stop. Four of the six complied, and two ran.
As SMPD secured the firearm as evidence and detained the group of four, other officers saturated the area to locate the two outstanding runners. Officers found the two runners at Poplar Avenue near N. Claremont Avenue. A SMPD sergeant apprehended one of them, Soane Tatola, and arrested him for resisting an executive officer. He was transported and booked into San Mateo County jail for resisting an executive officer and resisting arrest. The second runner managed to evade apprehension despite a well-established perimeter. As the investigation evolved, SMPD learned that earlier in the day, the group of six approached multiple students at school as retaliation for a fight, but not the knife fight, that occurred earlier.
SMPD and The San Mateo Union High School District (SMUHSD) prioritize the safety of our students and staff. After receiving the call for service at San Mateo High School, SMPD requested a “secure campus” to ensure the safety of students, faculty, and staff at the school.
When there is an emergency associated with any City of San Mateo schools, an immediate action response, “The Big Five,” is enacted by SMPD and/or School staff. SMPD and the San Mateo Union School District requests that our community members become familiar with the “The Big Five” so as a parent you know how to respond and as a student you are prepared to perform all assigned responsibilities.
For more visit http://tinyurl.com/SMCOBigFive. Next week SMPD will increase police presence on campus during summer school hours. Additionally, SMPD is engaged in conversations with SMUHSD as to how to best address their ongoing safety needs.