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Archive for Friday, May 25, 2001

Baldwin Student critically injured in fight

Shop class altercation lands one teen-ager in custody, another in KU Med Center

May 25, 2001

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A 17-year-old boy was in the custody of Douglas County law enforcement authorities Thursday after a fight at Baldwin High School left another 17-year-old boy critically injured.

According to Baldwin School Supt. Jim White, the students were involved in a fight about 12:45 p.m. Thursday in a shop class taught by Jim Oatman.

One student hit the other in the head with a blunt object, but White declined to say what the object was. Baldwin Police refused to release any information about the case Thursday; Chief Steve Butell was not available for comment.

Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical officials were called to the high school, and they in turn called for the LifeFlight air ambulance. The helicopter transported the boy to Kansas University Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan.

The victim underwent surgery for much of Thursday afternoon and evening. He was listed in critical condition late Thursday.

All students in the class were questioned by Baldwin Police officers, White said. Police are expected to release more information today about the incident.

White said classes continued as usual at the school Thursday and will continue today, the last day of school in the district before the summer break.

"I'm sure there'll be a lot of different rumors flying," White said. "I've already heard a lot of rumors. It's amazing what happens when people tell other people what went on."

Baldwin Mayor Kent Hayes said he and other city officials had been approached by a number of media outlets about the police lid on information about the incident, but he said he deferred to Butell's judgment.

The suspect was booked into the Douglas County Jail, Sheriff Rick Trapp said.

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