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Tragedy Follows Scarsdale Football Game in Dutchess County

ArlingtonHighSchool(The following was written by Scarsdale High School Senior Adam Katcher)
The trip north to Dutchess County to face football-powerhouse Arlington on Friday September 17 ended in a call for collective mourning to support a family in the face of tragedy. The 27-point Scarsdale defeat was not the talk of the night. The focus was on unity and how to process the inexplicably difficult events of the evening.

After the game’s conclusion, both teams were cooling down on the field while the crowds left the stands to return home. According to reports, a fight then broke out among Arlington fans in the Arlington High School parking lot which is not in the immediate area of the field. During the altercation, Quraan Smith, a 16-year-old Arlington student, was fatally stabbed. An 18-year-old former student at the school, Nestor A. Ortiz-Ocampo (age 18), was arrested and charged with first-degree manslaughter.

In a statement to the Scarsdale community following the incident, Superintendent Thomas Hagerman said, “After the game, our football students and their coaches remained on the playing field until they boarded the buses to return home. It is unclear if our students were aware that a fight had broken out or that police were arriving to intervene (since our students were across campus from the incident).”

Both school districts have and continue to ensure there are extra resources and people available to assist anyone who wants or needs assistance in processing the devastating news.

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro said, “A loss like this has ripple effects throughout the community and many of us need support as we face waves of emotions and try to comprehend what happened.”

Hagerman added to Molinaro’s statement by reinforcing the point that “although our students were not directly involved in the situation, incidents like this can be difficult to understand and process.”

As required by the district’s Safety, Security, and Emergency Management protocols, the procedures related to Scarsdale High School sports teams’ participation in off-campus events will be reviewed at the next Safety Committee Meeting.

Even though reports have indicated that no Scarsdale students or staff were near the scene, as stated by the Poughkeepsie Journal, “Anyone who was present and has relevant information is asked to contact the sheriff’s detective bureau at 845-486-3820, or their tip line at 845-605-2583, or by email at dcsotips@gmail.com. Callers and e-mailers should leave their name and contact information, but not leave any specific details about the case or what they observed.”

Everyone in both the local and larger community’s thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s family, the Arlington community, and anyone else who may be affected by this act of violence. As is always the case in the face of such awful events, now is the time to come together as communities to support those who need it the most, and to raise awareness about issues of violence in local communities to help prevent such devastating occurrences from happening again.

Adam Katcher is a senior at Scarsdale High School and a student athlete. He is also a student writer for Scarsdale10583.

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