The video is 27 seconds long. In a quick shot at the beginning, a young man wearing khakis and a collared shirt punches a man wearing a ski mask in the face and knocks him to the ground.
Students scramble and scream as the man falls and lies motionless.
The video was filmed at , according to school officials.
It was posted on March 21 to worldstarhiphop.com with the description: “Girl send’s [sic] father to fight a boy for throwing a French fry… But gets knocked out by a 17-year-old!”
As of 1:50 p.m. on March 22, it has been viewed more than 540,000 times. “Long Reach” was trending on Twitter in the Baltimore region last night.
Patti Caplan, spokesperson for the Howard County Public School System, said an adult who was a non-student came on campus at about 2:15 p.m. Wednesday wearing a ski mask. She said the man confronted one of the Long Reach students, threw a punch at him and missed. The student, a junior who is on the football team, then swung back and landed a knockout blow.
“The individual that was hit was unconscious,” said Caplan. “[He] did gain consciousness but refused help and walked off campus.”
Caplan said the man wasn’t arrested and the student wasn’t disciplined because it was determined he acted in self-defense. She said the incident is under investigation by the school resource officer and officials haven’t determined if the man was, in fact, a student’s father.
Howard County Police Department spokesperson Sherry Llewellyn said two people are being investigated in relation to the incident.
"At this point, the school resource officer has charged the female juvenile with assault," said Llewellyn. "She's 15 and from Columbia. We anticipate filing charges with the male adult who was involved. He will likely be charged with assault as well as disorderly conduct."
Llewellyn did not elaborate on how the female was involved with the assault. She said the man was from Baltimore, but did not release his name or relation to the female.
Police placed additional officers on duty for dismissal time at the school and at the village center on Thursday afternoon, according to Llewellyn.
Principal David P. Burton sent out an email notifying parents and the community about the incident on Thursday afternoon.
“We are aware that the incident was taped and that the video has gone viral on the Internet," he wrote. "As always, precautions are being taken to ensure the safety of all students and staff.”
Stefani Rodriguez, a parent of a Long Reach student, said fights and bullying are common at Long Reach.
“My daughter said this kind of thing happens all the time at the school,” said Rodriguez. “It’s unfortunate that it has escalated to this. Someone is going to get hurt at this school.”
Rodriguez said her daughter has been bullied frequently by students at Long Reach and that the school has pushed problems like fights and bullying “under the rug.”
“It’s just relentless,” said Rodriguez. “When I have a child that begs me not to go to school because it’s upsetting her and she doesn’t feel safe, then there’s a real problem.”
Caplan said that bullying and fights are problems at all Howard County schools, but that there are programs and policies in place to address them.
“I have no evidence that [fights and bullying] are any more prevalent at Long Reach High,” said Caplan.
Caplan said there was an incident involving French fries being thrown in the cafeteria either earlier that day or earlier in the week that may have been related to the fight. She said there was some antagonism between the football player and the girl before the incident occurred.
This article was updated at 3:28 p.m. on March 22.