A RIverhead Police Department vehicle outside the high school this morning. Photo: Peter Blasl

Riverhead Town Police are at and around Riverhead High School today after an anonymous caller last night tipped police that there would be “retaliation” at the school today for a fight there yesterday that resulted in the arrest of a 16-year-old student.

A parent of a student who overheard the statement about “retaliation,” possibly involving weapons, called police, Riverhead Police Chief David Hegermiller said this morning.

There were no weapons involved in yesterday’s fight, which involved multiple students, Hegermiller said. A security guard was injured in the fracas.

Seven students were suspended as a result of the incident, the chief said.

The fight had been controlled by the time police, who were called at 10:30 a.m., arrived at scene, Hegermiller said.

The chief said he spoke to the school resource officer and the school district’s director of security. No one mentioned gang activity, he said.

As word of the fight and possible retaliation spread, some parents decided to keep their children home today, Hegermiller said.

Riverhead High School principal Sean O’Hara sent a recorded call to families before 6 a.m. this morning letting them know there would be a “heavy police presence” at the school today following “noncredible threats.”

O’Hara said in the early-morning message that the district had been in touch with the Riverhead Police Department, which assured school officials “there will be a heavy police presence today to ensure the safety of the students and staff.”

A district spokesperson was not able to immediately provide comment.

“This is nothing new,” Hegermiller said. “Kids fight. It’s been happening for a long time. The difference is today we have social media to fuel rumors and blow everything out of proportion.”

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.