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2 Students Involved in Fight Won’t Be Charged

Times Staff Writer

The Orange County district attorney’s office said Wednesday that no charges will be filed against two high school students who were involved in a fight Sunday night at the Del Taco in the Woodbridge section of Irvine.

The clash occurred in the parking lot of the restaurant at 4820 Barranca Parkway between a group of Irvine High School students and five young men in a car. Two teens were stabbed during the melee at the popular student hangout and two were struck by the car as the second group tried to leave the parking lot.

“Based upon a review of the evidence, we have decided not to prosecute the youths. We believe that the one youth with the knife was acting in self-defense and that the other who hit the girl did so unknowingly and accidentally,” said Joe Nedza, an Orange County deputy district attorney.

Investigators said that a dispute between two groups of local high school students led to the fight.

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A group of five juveniles eating at the restaurant were confronted by another group. Words were exchanged and a fight broke out, police said.

The five youths in the car did not provoke the fight and were actually trying to flee the scene, Nedza said.

“The driver was parked in a head-in position at the restaurant. He had no choice but to back out. As he was doing this, his front and back windshields were being smashed by the crowd outside of the car,” Nedza said.

The “evidence indicates that the five in the car were trying to avoid the fight,” he said.

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Although one of the teens in the car stabbed two males from the other group, Nedza said, police believe that he was acting in self-defense.

The knife used by the youth resembled a Swiss-army type with a 2 1/2-inch blade, Irvine Police Lt. Michael White said.

Since the incident, the three injured males--two were stabbed and one was struck by the car--have been treated at area hospitals and released. The one woman, Eileen Shelly, 18, of Irvine, remained in critical condition Wednesday at Western Medical Center in Anaheim with several broken bones and internal injuries.

The names of the other participants in the fight were not released by authorities because of their ages.

“It was a real tragedy--especially for the girl who got run over,” White said. “Apparently she was trying to be a peacemaker.”


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