A school district has launched an investigation after a video emerged showing a Marine tackling two students who were fighting. In the clip – which went viral on social media – two high school students were in an altercation. After spotting the teens, 18-year-old Marine Pfc. Josue Valdez Sarmiento decided to intervene and stop the fight.
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Valdez Sarmiento was a graduate of the high school where the altercation took place. He was on the school’s campus to assist with military recruitment efforts.
When Valdez Sarmiento saw the students fight, he sprinted toward the two teens, both of which were students at Edison High School in California. Once he got close, the Marine tackled them, effectively subduing the students and ending the altercation.
The school district learned of the incident and of the viral video.
“Stockton Unified is aware of the student matter that took place on 9/11/19 at Edison High School and the recording circulating on social media,” said the school district in a statement, according to a report by The Blaze. “We are actively investigating the situation.”
Valdez Sarmiento’s superiors applauded his decision to get involved, though they noted that he could have chosen a better approach.
“He saw a dangerous fight break out. Upon observing that situation, he moved over and broke up the fight,” said Maj. Thomas Driscoll. “Although, the manner in which he did [could] have been improved, we are proud of Pfc. Valdez Sarmiento for his decision to intervene.”
However, many parents weren’t thrilled about Valdez Sarmiento’s actions.
“I was upset. It was upsetting to see that someone would do that. I just think it was unnecessary force,” said Mario Patino, a parent of a student. “Someone like that shouldn’t be allowed on campus.”
“An adult should never put their hands on … they’re trained to deal with situations in a different way,” said Sarah Savala, another parent.
Valdez Sarmiento has since been reassigned and will not be around students during the performance of his duties.
The school district is investigating the altercation as well as why school officials failed to intervene more quickly. At this time, the status of the students involved in the fight is not known.