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Juvenile Arrested For Machete at Lee

A 17-year-old Springfield youth has been arrested after brandishing a machete behind Robert E. Lee High on Friday, May 6.

According to police spokesman Officer Richard Henry, the boy, who was not a student at Lee, entered school property at the rear of the building around 7 a.m., and became engaged in a confrontation with four other students, all students at Lee. He waved the machete and pounded it on the ground, according to police reports.

"It was definitely intimidating to the other kids," said Henry. A male teacher attempted to break up the dispute, and the suspect ran away. He left the machete on Lee property, and was detained by police shortly after, several blocks from school. The juvenile was charged with trespassing and possession of a weapon on school property, and further charges are being pursued, according to Henry, among them gang charges.

"There is some indication that people in this event were involved in a gang, but the exact circumstances are still unknown," he said. No charges have been brought against the Lee students at this time. State law prohibits any stun weapon, tazer, knife longer than three inches, and other weapons on any portion of school property, including a school bus.

Fairfax County Public Schools spokesman Paul Regnier said Lee principal Donald Thurston sent a "Keep in Touch" letter home to parents Friday afternoon regarding the incident.

"The incident occurred outside the school and no one was hurt. We will continue to ensure the safety of all of our students at Lee High School," the letter read.

The juvenile was being detained at the Fairfax County Juvenile Detention Center, at the judge's request.

— Glenn McCarty