Man Charged in Long Reach Assault Caught on Video (UPDATED)

Donnell Vannison, 40, of Baltimore was charged with assault and disorderly conduct.

Howard County police Tuesday charged a 40-year-old west Baltimore man in a that was caught on video and went viral on the internet.

Donnell Maurice Vannison was charged with second-degree assault and disorderly conduct, according to a written statement from the Howard County Police Department (HCPD).

Vannison may also be charged with trespassing on school property, said police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn.

Police said that Vannison, wearing a ski mask, struck a 16-year-old male student outside the school at 2:20 p.m. on Wednesday, March 21.

The student, who was captured on video striking back, will not be charged, said police.

"Investigators believe he (the student) was acting in self-defense," said the statement.

HCPD responded to the scene for a person reported unconscious, said Llewellyn.

"As the officer approached Vannison, he was already walking away, off of school property. The officer talked with him briefly and offered medical attention, which he refused," said Llewellyn.

The officer found Vannison "stumbling down the sidewalk, almost falling over" with "blood on his face," according to charging documents, which referenced several times that Vannison "kept trying to leave" the scene.

Initially, Vannison gave the officer a false name, according to the report.

After discovering through a computer search that the name was an alias, the officer verified the subject's real identity and "Mr. Vannison was later sent on his way," according to charging documents.

The officer and Vannison had been across the street from the school during their interaction, according to charging documents, and it wasn't until the officer returned to campus that he learned of Vannison's involvement in the fight.

"A short time later, the officer received the report of the assault," said Llewellyn. "He began investigating the details, which resulted in charges against the 15-year-old girl and Vannison."

A 15-year-old female student hit the 16-year-old and as a juvenile last week, said police. Vannison was friends with her family, according to Llewellyn.

Police ramped up patrols at the school at the end of last week but have since returned to normal staffing levels, said Llewellyn.

Vannison has a trial date set for June 6, according to HCPD.

This article was updated with additional details at 3:15 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on March 27.

Danna Walker (Editor) March 27, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Thank you for that interesting, inside perspective.
Brook Hubbard March 27, 2012 at 07:06 PM
I would want to question the faculty at Long Reach to see why, given there is video evidence of inappropriate behavior from students on school property, nothing has been done to punish these kids? No one can recognize the children in the videos above or who the individual recording and posting the videos is? It shouldn't take long to figure out who these students are and to enforce consequences on them. Maybe they'll be less inclined to act like some "wannabe gangsta thugz" if there's actual consequences for their actions. You want to act like that, fine, but don't be an idiot and post proof of you breaking school policy on school grounds. Let's see some action from the faculty regarding this...
Andrew Metcalf March 27, 2012 at 07:26 PM
The statistics used include both in- and out-of-school suspension numbers for attacks/threats/fighting
Howard County Parent March 27, 2012 at 07:44 PM
In my opinion, as well as the opinion of a trusted source (a Long Reach student) in school suspensions have no effect on the students. They see it as an easy way to "serve their time". They are still able and allowed to interact with other students on school property. The current punishments are often not effective, and send the wrong message to the kids. I can tell you one example that was used at Long Reach- they have kids that have harassed other students write and sign a contract, stating they will not do it again. When other kids got wind of this, what do you think they said? The message was you can continue to get away with bad behavior, and continue to be with your friends, and act inappropriately on school grounds. I like your idea, Anonymous, school based community service would work, or other creative solutions. Or maybe this.... a kid that bullies or hurts another should be suspended, and during his or her suspension, be forced to parade up and down a busy area (Columbia Crossing Shopping Center, for example) wearing a sign identifying his or her infraction. That shoud embarrass them into behaving better.
Howard County Parent March 27, 2012 at 07:49 PM
Thank you, thank you, thank you Brook- I am so glad someone recognizes that there is a very serious problem with the way students behave and we need actionfrom the faculty. You are so right about these "wannabe gangsta thugz", they are proud of the way they act, proud enough to post it for all to see. It brings shame to Long Reach, the staff there, these kids' parents, and the county. To tell you the truth, I viewed the videos and recognized some of the students, so of course the staff would and should. As I said before, they are turning a blind eye to it, and don't want to face the problem. These kids need to be punished for their inappropriate behavior. Mark my words, if things don't change, one of these kids is going to end up getting hurt, likely by someone they call a "friend". I wish more communitymembers, parents, and facutly would take this problem seriously and do something about it.
Rockburnadvocate March 27, 2012 at 10:20 PM
This is exactly why we choses to send our son to Howard High although we were slated for Long Reach. He has to do JROTC and be driven back and forth due to us being out of district but I wouldn't have it any other way. I could NOT send him to Long Reach knowing the statistics and reputation of the school. He picked a great group of Gifted & Talented kids as friends so how could I separate his from them. It goes back to me saying that Elkridge needs a high school.
K March 28, 2012 at 01:10 AM
Linda, You hit the nail on the head! I think there is a large group of students that are there to learn and succeed in high school in the "Howard County way", and another group of "gangsta wannabees" who are proud of themselves for making LR the suburban ghetto school emulating the behavior that goes on in the inner city schools. Mr. Burton doesn't seem to recognize this, or do anything to convince these kids that "gangsta" is not cool it's stupid and unacceptable behavior. Maybe it's because he came from a gangsta school in PG county and he thinks this is nothing compared to that environment, or maybe he just doesn't care. He is obviously turning a blind eye to the situation and the result is what wee see every day at LR. I think LR has or is becomming a gangsta magnet school. MR. BURTON WE LIVE IN HOCO FOR A REASON.....GOOD SCHOOLS, NOT GANGSTA SCHOOLS, ADDRESS THE PROBLEM!!!
Dee March 28, 2012 at 12:03 PM
I've read all the comments and was curious - how many of you have children who attend Long Reach? Now I'm about to watch the videos.
Dave A. March 28, 2012 at 12:18 PM
Maybe as far as number go. I would like to saee if there is a comparison on the violations, rather then just a number.
Dave A. March 28, 2012 at 12:19 PM
During the 4 years my son went there (2002-2006) there was no control then. I am sure it has not changed much.
Pete March 28, 2012 at 12:31 PM
Linda, I am sorry you feel the way you do about our school. I have been here since the school has opened. I am a teacher and the head football coach. I have always been proud to be here and would not want to be anywhere else in the county. Long Reach like all of the schools each year have a handful of students who seem to get into trouble. I have seen 15 graduating classes come through and you would be surprise by the number of graduates who continue their education in prestigious colleges. We have 1300 students in our school. If you look at the links you included, you will see maybe 10 kids in all of them who were disgusting. Please don't judge our staff, students and administrators by the actions of less than one percent of our student body. I looked on you tube for the first time and found videos like these at other schools. Unfortunately it is the world we live it with modern technology. I invite you to spend a day in our school and you will see like others that this is a very good school. Mr. Burton and our administrative staff are outstanding. I am truly sorry if you had a bad experience here at Long Reach. Coach Pete Hughes
Dave A. March 28, 2012 at 12:31 PM
You will hear the same language in ANY of the county High Schools. The interesting part is these kids that filmed this, and were being filmed were not worried who heard what. Whether we like it or not this is how many kids talk, (maybe only when in their peer group) but they ALL talk like this. It is socially accepted by most. Doesn't make it right but it is true. I used to hear it all of the time when I drove a bus part time, and it wasn't for Long Reach, But for another High School in the county with different demographics. I would not allow it on the bus and it took me the better part of the first half of the year to get it across to them I would not tolerate it. It never completely stopped but was more subdued for the rest of theyear.
Dee March 28, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Dave, You are spot-on regarding the use of language. It doesn't make it right or appropriate, but this is how many children converse. I don't see the school doing much about language that's used after school hours. That's the parents' job. And you're right about another thing - different school, different demographics; same kids. I personally felt most disturbed by the Ghetto Long Reach video because there was a teacher present while another student documented it. I fired off an email to the principal. Now I am waiting for (and expecting a response). I wouldn't tolerate that kind of behavior at home, and I wouldn't at school.
Dave A. March 28, 2012 at 01:57 PM
Deneitra, Good luck with that.... They are going to say 'We are trying to get these kids to 'Open Up" so we can better understand them.
Dee March 28, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Thanks Dave. I think we understand the kids just fine. Now they need to understand us. And for all the parents who commented on this page, if you have students at Long Reach, we could really use your help. The principal has already agreed to meet with me after Spring Break. Who's in?
Andrew Kanicki March 28, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Looking at the test scores for Long Reach and Howard shows that they are pretty comparable. I have a neighbor who is a teacher at Howard, and she laughed outloud while reading your comments. Evidently Howard has just as much of a problem (if not more) thank Long Reach, its just "covered up better". My neighbor sent her kids to Long Reach. One Daughter is at Princeton, a son a Johns Hopkins, and another son is at University of Chicago. Interestingly enough, she said a lot of the kids who are "problem" kids come from...ELKRIDGE! GASP! Did you visit the schools? Meet with administrators before you chose to send your child to Howard? Or, was your decision based solely on gossip and rumor? Reputation isn't fact.
Julie Hutchison March 28, 2012 at 05:39 PM
And they call Wilde Lake the Ghetto School??? HA! All the schools have some form of problems with the kids that go there. If the PARENTS would take responsibility for there children's actions instead looking for someone else to do it and claim not my child maybe then we wouldn't have the issues that we have. You have River Hill who so conveniently seem to "recruit" the best athletes and then Reservoir who has the most suspensions etc. in the county, MR is more snobby than Centennial and River Hill combined. These kids only do what they are taught at home.
SoccerMom March 28, 2012 at 08:21 PM
This guy has an extensive rap sheet (as well as his son). He should have never been on school property. Pretty scary
uneverno March 28, 2012 at 08:42 PM
And just where, exactly, was Batman when we really needed him?!? Oh yeah, sitting on the side of the road somewhere, beacuse he refused to abide by an extremely simple and basic law, instead out here fighting bad guys like our man Vannison here. Phhhtt, some superhero he is...
Kat March 29, 2012 at 03:25 PM
I've had 2 children graduate from Long Reach. I will NOT expose my 3rd child to the Long Reach environment. Between the "lockdowns", and thugs, (yes, THUGS) that attend the school and NEVER get disciplined, I feel that it is a potentially dangerous place for 14-18 yr olds to be spending their time on a day-to-day basis. The teachers are CLEARLY intimidated by the students and the "inmates are controlling the assylum" in my opinion.
Howard County Parent March 29, 2012 at 03:50 PM
I am right there with you, Kat. I agree with everything you said....I wish the school system would do something about all this. They seem to just want it all to go away.
Kat March 29, 2012 at 04:57 PM
ho co parent: I believe wholeheartedly that the ONLY reason that my 2 eldest actually graduated from Long Rech successfully, was because of my CONSTANT intervention with them (ie. extra education at home and with paid tutor) and the teachers at LR were pretty much no help at all. Most of the teachers actually admitted to me that the classrooms were out of control. There are NO consequences to the bad behaviors. Suspending students IS A JOKE!!! The bad students use this as a badge of honor, and they are left to run the streets during the day while their parents are at work(?). The students that are being suspended should be given "double-time" at school with a boot-camp style teacher that can get respect and some productivity out of them. Some of the stories that my kids came home with would curl your hair..I could go on, but I don't think that the parents of the troubled kids could care less.
Kat March 29, 2012 at 05:23 PM
OH....and by the way, where were the police that patrol the school when all of this was happening??? hmmm??
Dave A. March 30, 2012 at 12:55 AM
There is ONE officer assigned to the school. They can not be everywhere.
Carrie L March 30, 2012 at 02:59 AM
Andrew is exactly right! In any school - ALL schools - there is going to be a certain percentage of the population that is not interested in learning and only interested in skating by and causing trouble. Most of the students at LR are great kids from good families who are working hard and getting a top-notch education. We have students who go to Ivy League schools, HCC and everything in between, as well as students who enter the workforce after graduation or go to trade schools. It's real life, with real diversity. My daughter attends there and I couldn't be happier with almost all of her teachers and the administration, especially since Mr. Burton came in. We were recently at a softball game at another county schools - one of the "good" ones and were met with incredible disrespect from the head coach and a few of the players. I was incredibly proud of our girls and the class they showed under those circumstances. They certainly rose above the expectations that most of the county has for them, but it didn't surprise me in the least that they showed such good sportsmanship.
HOCO Parent April 02, 2012 at 12:43 PM
I'm glad my son attends Long Reach High School and all this talk is silly. Every high school has issues and you are naive to think otherwise. Teachers at Long Reach are very dedicated and bright and surprisingly demanding . Don't listen to all the garbage out there I challenge you come out from behind your rock and visit and talk to the teachers.
sarah April 02, 2012 at 01:02 PM
If long Reach is soooo great then why is it that they are finding heroin needles in the bathroom, kids are fighting, posting ignorant videos on youtube, and most of the kids are disrespectful???? Many teachers are racist..... i no of a student that was never treated the way he should be they let him go all the way to the 11th grade with out learning a thing! Instead of failing him they let him slide by and then when an altercation happened between him and a black person they kicked him out! They are for black people at that school
Nicole Mapp April 03, 2012 at 05:16 PM
Some of the comments regarding Long Reach although true are not any different than other high schools so why is Long Reach being vilified? You have good and bad elements regardless of the situation or environment. I have kids that go to public schools (Long Reach particularly) and private schools. The care given to my children by their teachers is equal. The teachers at both schools take the time before or after school to meet with my kids to help them when needed and communicate with me and my husband regarding any issues that arise. This is done because we set the precedence that we care about our kids’ education and we are involved with their learning process. Neither of my kids feel unsafe in their school environment and they have both excelled academically and athletically under the leadership provided. Instead of vilifying the school, maybe those who happen to be less than thrilled should look at what role they play to ensure the kids (their kids at Long Reach) are receiving the most from their experience. The situation described is the same in a multitude of high schools so please don’t continue to post as if this only occurs in one Howard County high school.
Kwezay April 10, 2012 at 11:40 AM
Where are the PARENTS i ask you. These kids are out in public and have no regard for nor do they respect authority. My kids graduated from WLHS and I dare them to come to school or where acting and talking like that! DOES ANYBODY PARENT ANYMORE???
workingmyfaith April 28, 2012 at 03:30 PM
LRHS Parent, I am on of the parents involved in this sistuation and the bottom line is that the staff at LRHS do very little if nothing at all to address students who are being harrassed by other students at the school. I as a parent hadve had to have several meeting on be have of one or another of my children who has had some harrassment by one or more other student/s. Staff (Mr. Rob) have looked me in my face and said "what do you want me to do". So I don't agree with theactions of that guy but I understand why something like this woukd happen.


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