Girl knocked out in fight that shuts down Easton Area High School bonfire,

A fight shut down Easton Area High School’s traditional bonfire before the Thanksgiving football game against Phillipsburg High School and one juvenile was found unconscious due to the incident, Palmer Township police report.

Another juvenile involved in the fight was detained by school district police, township Patrolman Jim Alercia told

The initial report was for a large fight involving about 40 people, but when officers pushed their way into the crowd surrounding the incident near the tennis courts, they found about 40 people watching two girls who had been fighting, one of whom had been knocked unconscious, Alercia said. The unconscious student was treated by Suburban EMS, Alercia said.

An earlier fight on the campus had been quickly broken up, Alercia said.

School district Director of Safe Schools John Remaley said as the crowd around the fight closed in around police, three juveniles were detained, but they were later released to their parents. No charges have been filed and the incident remains under investigation by district police and administrators, he added.

“Due to the large disturbance and large crowds, a determination was made to terminate the event,” Alercia said. Remaley said that was done “out of an abundance of caution.”

The bonfire typically draws large crowds to the high school campus on 25th Street, and Remaley said Wednesday night was no different.

Police from Wilson Borough, Forks Township, Bethlehem Township and Easton helped Palmer officers clear the crowds after the 7:30 p.m. incident, Alercia said.

It took about an hour to empty the grounds and the parking lots, he added. The event typically lasts until about 10 p.m. and the bonfire goes through the night until it burns itself out, Alercia said.

While the fights did involve juveniles, there was no evidence they were clashes between the two schools, Alercia said. The fierce rivalry dates to 1905 and the game is played at 10:30 in the morning at Lafayette College’s Fisher Stadium on Easton’s College Hill.

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Tony Rhodin can be reached at

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