A former substitute teacher was arrested for allegedly supervising a student “fight club” at a Connecticut high school. Numerous cellphone videos show 23-year-old Ryan Fish supporting slap-fights in his math class at Montville High School.
Although the fights happened last October, it was in December that Officer Karen Moorehead, a school resource officer, wrote the arrest warrant affidavit because that was when the Juvenile Court Liaison, Tammy Algar, reported the incidents at the school to the police.
According to the arrest warrant filed by Moorehead, there were four victims; Victim 1: a 15-year-old; Victims 2&3: two 16-year-olds, and Victim 4: a 14-year old.
According to the arrest warrant, on December 14, 2017, the Juvenile Court Liaison, who is a social worker, reported to the police that victim 1 showed signs of being traumatized, robbed and beaten. The next day, Officer Moorehead visited the school and spoke with the assistant principal, Tatiana Patten, who told her that on October 10, 2017, she had been made aware of a “fight club” happening in a math class. Patten reported that multiple videos had been made showing “slap-fighting” in the class. Patten said that victim 1 and victim 2 were fighting in the classroom, though neither was a member of the class. Victim 1 told Patten he was not a willing participant in the fight.
Patten told Moorehead that when Fish was taken to the principal, he said, “Boys will be boys,” that he grew up in the country, and “Boys do stuff like that.” Fish was fired on October 17.
In one of the videos showing the incidents, Fish can be seen positioning himself in front of the doorway leading to the hallway. Moorehead wrote that in the fights, the boys were always unevenly matched; one student was much smaller than the other student.
Victim 4 told Moorehead that in one instance, he was in Fish’s class when victim 3 walked in and without any warning, hit him and “the fight was on.” He said Fish moved things out of the way so the fight could last longer. He added that the fight ended when victim 3 wound up throwing up in a trash can, but when victim 3 was done throwing up Fish attempted to restart the fight by saying, “Round two,” but it didn’t restart because the bell rang. Victim 4 said the fight between victims 3 and 4 went several rounds.
Victim 3 said he didn’t feel that Fish had done anything wrong, but also said the fight he had with victim 4 was to establish “dominance.”
Victim 2 said the fight between him and victim 1 was two 30-second rounds; he said he knew the length of the fight because he set an alarm on his phone for 30 seconds.
According to The Day, “Patten has been on leave since January pending separate investigations by the school district and police.”
Fish told police he was “immature” and an “idiot” who wanted to befriend his students.