On January 31st, there was an incident at the high school following the Boys Varsity Basketball game that began at approximately 8:06pm. The incident lasted approximately three minutes. Both teams were securely escorted into the locker rooms. The individuals involved in the incident were contained and there were no injuries. A knife was recovered from the scene but was not a part of the altercation. The Town of Montgomery police detained an individual for questioning and the individual was released without charges, pending further investigation.
There were two School Resource Officers, as well as several trained event staff and administrators, including the VCHS Principal, the District’s Athletic Director and an Assistant Superintendent, present during the game. Immediate action was taken to contain the incident and ensure the safety of the athletes and spectators. Other district administrators arrived quickly to the scene, including the Superintendent, Director of Safety and School Business Official. Newburgh Free Academy also had security present.
Unrelated to the fight, an individual attending the event yelled “gun” which resulted in the quick response from numerous other law enforcement agencies. This individual later retracted this statement. Additionally, there was an inaccurate call to 911 from a third party that there was a reported gunman at the event. Town of Montgomery Police Chief, John Hank, who was present at the scene stated that their investigation found that there was no verified sighting of a firearm on the scene. Local Fire and EMS units were placed on standby but were not needed. This incident reminds us how important it is to only convey factual information.
The police investigation is currently active. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Town of Montgomery Police at (845) 457-9211 or email Detective Sergeant Meehan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any Valley Central students directly involved in the incident will be addressed according to the VC Code of Conduct. On February 1st, district leaders, along with the Director of Safety, convened to debrief the incident and reviewed procedures to enhance safety measures.
Valley Central School District is grateful to the Town of Montgomery Police, New York State Police, Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Village of Montgomery, Walden, and Maybrook Police, Towns of Newburgh, Crawford, Wallkill Police, City of Newburgh Police and Fire and EMS units for their swift response.