8 Lakewood High students arrested after fight

Sheriff's office received videos of brawl from several perspectives


Eight Lakewood High School students have been charged with disturbing schools for allegedly taking part in a "large group fight" in the student parking lot last week.

The fight, which started about 4:15 p.m. at the school on Old Manning Road, was recorded by witnesses' cellphones, and multiple statements were given to law enforcement, states a Sumter County Sheriff's Office incident report. The sheriff's office has copies of the group fight and the events that took place prior.

Those charged are: Tylin Benenhaley, 17, of Bruce Circle; Johnvanttee A. Bender, 17, of Southernhill Drive; Tyrek D. Brown, 18, of Hickory Road; Terrence L. Epps, 19, of Cane Savannah Road in Wedgefield; Jalin O. Harvin-Thomas, 17, of Sedon Drive; Caleb Garret McCloud, 18, of Bamburgh Way; Kristopher R. Twigg, 17, of Arthur Gayle Road in Wedgefield; and Alex D. Zaragoza, 17, of Sylvan Way.

According to the report, two of the students got into a one-on-one fight and fought until other students separated them. Another video shows the students arguing about one of the students "sneaking" someone — punching a person when he doesn't expect it, states the report.

A third video shows a male student walk from the rear of a vehicle and hit another male student in the head from behind.

All eight students then begin to fight. 

“The difficulty lies in the fact that usually a video only tells a part of the story," Sumter County Sheriff Anthony Dennis said. "We viewed several videos to get as complete of story as we could."

Hopefully, this will not happen again, Dennis said, as these students now face charges from law enforcement.

All eight students received a personal recognizance bond on Thursday and will not be allowed back on school property, according to Ken Bell, public information officer for the sheriff's office.

According to the incident report, each of the students was suspended from school pending expulsion hearings.

*Earlier, the statement about the suspension and possible expulsion of the eight students involved in an after-school fight at Lakewood High School was incorrectly attributed to a Sumter School District spokesperson. That information came from an incident report from Sumter County Sheriff's Office.