Pickerington police have filed complaints against a 16-year-old Pickerington High School Central student in connection with the stabbing of another teen after a basketball game with the school's crosstown rivals.

Pickerington police have filed complaints against a 16-year-old Pickerington High School Central student in connection with the stabbing of another teen after a basketball game with the school's crosstown rivals.

A series of fights following the Pickerington Central boys' 79-58 varsity basketball victory over Pickerington North on Dec. 12 resulted in the stabbing of a 16-year-old boy, according to Pickerington police.

As a result, police filed complaints Dec. 16 against a PHS Central student for allegedly inflicting a non-fatal injury.

The complaints include two counts of felonious assault and single counts of tampering with evidence, illegal conveyance of a deadly weapon into a school zone and illegal possession of a deadly weapon on school premises. The complaints allege the boy used a knife six inches or smaller.

"It was a fixed-blade knife that was small enough to be concealed," said Pickerington Police Sgt. Matt Delp. "The victim was stabbed in the back, and the suspect tried to throw the weapon in a pond. We were able to locate it."

As of press time last Friday, the student hadn't been arraigned, and no court date was slated for him in Fairfield County Juvenile Court.

Citing the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act which protects the privacy of education records for juveniles, Pickerington Local School District officials wouldn't comment about any disciplinary actions that might have be taken against the student.

However, a school official with knowledge of the incident last week said he had been suspended and was facing possible expulsion.

The incident occurred after Central hosted a doubleheader featuring games between Central and North's varsity girls and boys basketball teams. The gymnasium was at or near capacity for both games, according to Lee Cole, director of communications for Pickerington Local Schools.

Following the games, Delp said, a number of skirmishes occurred outside the school.

"There was some kind of altercation out in the parking lot after the basketball game and there were a bunch of fights going on," he said. "Then on the west side of the school, we got reports of 75 to 100 kids.

"Not all those kids were in the fight, but a large crowd had gathered," he said. "Apparently, one thing led to another and this kid decided to up the ante and started stabbing."

Delp said the victim wasn't a student at either school, and he and the PHS Central student didn't know one another.

The victim didn't tell his parents he had been injured until the next evening, Delp said. He was treated and released from an undisclosed hospital that night.

Delp said one Fairfield County Sheriff's deputy and one Pickerington police officer were providing security at the game. He said staffing levels at after-school events are dictated by the school district, and noted the fights which broke out after the game aren't typical.

"Most basketball games are uneventful," he said. "This is the first incident we've had in quite a long time. We had some fights at a football game last fall, but nothing this year."

Cole said the double-header was the first of its kind for the district, which will determine if such events will be held in the future. She added the district is looking into changing security policies for games.

"The district is increasing visibility of staff and police presences at the games, paying specific attention to the commons, lobby and parking areas," she said. "We are also looking into additional support in clearing the parking lots at the conclusion of the games.

"Also, we will no longer continue to sell tickets throughout the game," Cole said. "Ticket sales will end at halftime and the front doors will be locked. Although there is already a 'no re-entry' policy at Central, we also are reviewing game set-up and exit strategies and developing a plan to accommodate large crowds more efficiently."

Because Fairfield County considers its juvenile court a "rehab court," its cases generally are civil in nature, as opposed to criminal, Pickerington Police Commander Ralph Portier said.

Erin McLaughlin, an assistant Fairfield County prosecutor, said if the student's alleged offenses had been committed by an adult, they would be felonies, but that's not necessarily the case in juvenile court.

"For juveniles, there's a possibility of detention," she said. "Because this is a juvenile case, I really can't comment on it."

nellis@thisweeknews.com