Update: Hanford Student Condition Improves

August 28, 2008 9:48:01 AM PDT
According to Community Regional Medical Center, the 16 year old victim is in serious, but stable condition. Police have increased their presence here at Hanford West High School. They had to break up more fights on campus on Wednesday. Investigators are looking into whether they are related to Tuesday's fight that left a 17-year old junior on life support for two days.

Police officers made their presence known at Hanford West High School's campus as students were leaving school for the day.

Mayra Hernandez, H.S. Student: "In the front on the side of the school one of our gates is locked."

Police say a 16-year old is in custody for felony assault after he egged on, and then punched a fellow student off-campus outside the "B and P Liquor Store" during lunchtime on Tuesday.

Chief Carlos Mestas, with the Hanford Police Department said, "The victim fell back struck his head on the asphalt and pretty much was knocked out cold."

The victim's friend was there when the fight started and says the suspect kept hitting him as he was lying on the ground.

Aujeree Rogers, friend of victim: "So we all ran over there to see if he's okay and then all of sudden there's a whole bunch of blood on the ground and so he wasn't moving for a while and he's not saying anything he's shaking.

The students waved down a police officer and wrapped a bandana around the teen's head to try to stop the bleeding before paramedics arrived. On Wednesday, the Hanford police chief expressed his concern with the school's policy allowing students to leave the supervised high school campus for lunch.

Mestas: "It becomes an issue for us, quite frankly, open campuses and open lunch hours are becoming an issue for us we see crime goes up during those times when you have a lot of students out on the street."

Mestas said the student is in serious but stablel condition at Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno. Classmates at Hanford West are hoping he makes a fast recovery.

Lisa Purser: "There was a lot of talk about the kid who got hurt yesterday and still people caring for him."

Aujeree: "Was just he was a really nice guy, very special to us."

Police say both the students are believed to be associated with rival gangs though they aren't calling the fight gang related.

The suspect remains in custody on felony assault charges.

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