A disturbance outside the Washington County High School gymnasium following Friday night’s basketball games between Washington and Marion counties has led to the arrest of three adults, three juveniles, and minor injuries to two Kentucky State Police troopers.
Those arrested by Kentucky State Police were Pamela D. Railey, 44, and Chelsea Railey, 18. Both were charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Two juveniles were arrested by KSP and charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. One of the juveniles was also charged with assault third degree on a police officer and criminal mischief third degree.
In addition, Springfield City Police arrested Christine Spalding of Springfield, as well as one juvenile. Both were charged with disorderly conduct.
Kentucky State Police troopers Fred Cornett and John Adams were in attendance, and received minor injuries in the incident.
According to Springfield Police Chief Fred Armstrong, a group of about 70 people had gathered in the parking lot, and events in the crowd escalated to the point where police had to become involved. Armstrong said he was not sure if the people involved in the incident were from the basketball game, or if they had moved to the gymnasium parking lot for the purpose of fighting.
“I don’t really know if it had anything to do with the basketball game or if it was just a disorderly group. At this point, I’d say it was a disorderly crowd that came up to fight instead of watch the basketball game,” Armstrong said.
Washington County High School Principal Leon Smith said the rivalry between Washington County and Marion County is a heated one, and he had requested an additional police presence to increase security for the games.
“I had heard bits and pieces from students, nothing more than we normally have, that there might be a fight or might be some issues,” Smith said. “It was just a gut feeling that day, and I had already talked to Chief Armstrong and asked if he could add extra officers. The sheriff’s office was also there, and we went on and called the state police, and fortunately they sent two officers as well. We didn’t have any real information other than just a sense that I wanted to make sure we were safe that evening.”
Smith said he has since talked with Armstrong, and plans are being made to heighten security for next week’s 19th District Tournament, which is being hosted by Washington County, but does not include Marion County.
“We may have a little raised security for Friday night,” Smith said of the tournament. “I sent him (Armstrong) a schedule this morning, and he will look over that and then proceed.”
As for the future of the Washington-Marion rivalry, Smith said no decisions will be made until officials from both schools can sit down and discuss it.
“It’s always a heated rivalry, and you hate to lose those kind of things. You don’t want to make any hasty decisions, and we don’t’ want to jump to conclusions,” Smith said. “A big concern for us now is that we already have Marion County scheduled here for football next season, and our campus is not really structured to handle good security. You’ve got a facility with a front and a back, then a lot of dark areas. You put 4,000 or 5,000 people in a small area, and it helps to promote some of those issues. We are going to be looking at and discussing future games because we don’t want a repeat of Friday night.”
Authorities are attempting to identify additional suspects at this time. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Kentucky State Police at (800) 222-5555 or the Springfield Police Department at (859) 336-5450.
Editor’s note: A photo of Christine Spalding does not appear because one was not available at press time.