Student Dispute Leads To Stabbing

Injuries to victim are non-life-threatening, one student jailed

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A 15-year-old male Payson High School student was stabbed while off school grounds Tuesday afternoon, Payson police said.

The victim was taken to Payson Regional Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

Police said the incident occurred near the intersection of Meadow Street and Longhorn Road, when a 14-year-old male juvenile allegedly stabbed the 15-year-old.

Police Chief Don Engler said that both juveniles involved in the stabbing are students at Payson High School.

At approximately 12:43 p.m. Tuesday, Payson police said they received a report of a student with an abdominal injury at Rim Country Middle School.

After officers arrived and determined that the 15-year-old had been stabbed, they were able to conclude the stabbing had not taken place on the grounds of Rim Country Middle School, according to a press release from Payson police.

Payson Unified School District Superintendent Casey O'Brien said, "The 15-year-old victim was actually stabbed off of school grounds and then walked to Rim Country to get help."

He said the two students had been in a disagreement of some kind for a couple of days and that it finally came to a head Tuesday afternoon.

"We don't know for sure exactly what it was over, but it was an ongoing conflict, it had evolved over a couple of days," Engler said.

The 14-year-old suspect was taken into custody at Payson High School only minutes after police responded to the initial call at Rim Country Middle School. He was charged with aggravated assault and transported to the Globe Juvenile Detention facility, Payson police said.

"It is my understanding that he (the 14-year-old suspect) was apprehended as he was coming back onto school grounds (Payson High School) after second lunch period," O'Brien said.

He said that at no time were any of the students at Payson High School or Rim Country Middle School in any danger, and that he is very happy with the response by Payson Police and school staff and administration in keeping students at both locations safe.

"Payson police did a great job of taking care of this situation," O'Brien said.

"Their reaction was quick and professional, I couldn't have asked for better."

"I am also very pleased with the professionalism of the staff at both schools in this particular incident," he added.

"I can't say enough about the nurse at Rim Country Middle School, she was a total professional in the face of something she doesn't normally have to deal with," O'Brien said.

Engler said the 14-year-old suspect had been seen by a judge in Globe who had decided to detain him in the juvenile facility "probably for a couple of weeks."

Chief Engler added that a weapon was recovered in the vicinity of the incident.

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