When Fists Fly in Front of Fenty

A brawl breaks out at an awards ceremony for rehabbed youth

“One of the girls got a glazed look in her eyes, and it was on,” one witness told the Washington Examiner.

And Mayor Adrian Fenty had a front row seat to the action.

He had just finished handing out awards at an awards ceremony for the most successfully rehabilitated offenders from the Department of Youth and Rehabilitation Services. After everyone is honored, typically it’s a joyous occasion, but somehow an argument broke out between three girls. And then things started flying -- literally -- like chairs and fists according to witnesses.  According to the Examiner:

Administration officials and security quickly moved in to stop the Thursday night fray, but the melee continued for several minutes, witnesses said. Police backup and D.C. fire and rescue workers were called to the Wilson Building to help quell the violence and take care of an injured person.

Police arrested Grace Ebiasah, 20, Anna Ebiasah, 20, and Deanna Morris, 19, with fighting in a public place. All are from southeast Washington.

This brawl accents the problems Fenty is facing with the DYRS. An investigation into the agency began after three of its youth were charged with killing District middle school principal Brian Betts. The investigation results revealed that almost three-fourth of DYRS youth are repeat offenders within two years. Also, the agency would be weeks behind seeking an arrest order for its youths that are missing.

“It’s ironic for this to actually happen in the District’s city hall and for all these juvenile justice experts to lose control over these girls,” Walker told the Examiner. “It’s really telling.”

The mayor's office provided a brief statement on the incident to NBC4:

"During last week's DYRS awards ceremony two youth were involved in a physical altercation. WB Security quickly contained the incident and no one was seriously injured."

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