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baltimoresun.com

Police charge man in Long Reach viral video fight

1:34 PM EDT, March 27, 2012

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Howard County police have charged a Baltimore man with assaulting a student last week on the campus of Long Reach High School in Columbia.

Donnell Maurice Vannison, 40, of 1152 N. Longwood Street, was charged Monday with second-degree assault and disorderly conduct. He was released on his own recognizance and his trail date has been set for June 6.

According to police, Vannison came onto the campus March 21 around 2:20 p.m., 10 minutes after the end of the school day. Witnesses told police that Vannison put on a ski mask, approached a 16-year-old male and then hit him. The student, who police said was grazed by the punch, retaliated, striking Vannison once and knocking him out.

A 15-year-old female student, one of the witnesses, then hit the male student. She was charged last week as a juvenile with assault, according to police.

The male student will not be charged, police said, because investigators believe he was acting in self defense.

The incident, which lasted roughly 27 seconds, was captured on video by an onlooker and put on WorldStarHipHop.com, where it has gone viral.

According to school system spokeswoman Patti Caplan, Long Reach staff intervened immediately after the fight and the school resource police officer was called to the scene.

Caplan said that Vannison "came to and did not want any assistance and left the campus."

School officials said there had been an incident involving taunting between the female student and other students. According to county police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn, the female student's guardian is friends with Vannison.

Caplan said the man may have come onto the campus "to settle things in response to all of that."

—Stan Rappaport