Teen arrested for fight at school; victim's spleen ruptured

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COTTONWOOD - The following is a press release from the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office:

On April 8, 2009, at approximately 2:30 P.M., Yavapai County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to a reported assault at the American Heritage Academy located in the 2000 block of East Cherry Street, Cottonwood. Deputies were initially contacted by the mother of a 13-year-old assault victim who attends the school. She told deputies that her son had been attacked by a student at the school earlier in the day. Her son had been treated at the Verde Valley Medical Center for injuries sustained in the assault, but was now in the process of being flown to Phoenix Children's Hospital for a possible ruptured spleen.

Deputies contacted school officers and learned that a 14-year-old student, identified as Javier Rascon-Varela from Cottonwood, was the suspect. School administrators explained that students and at least one staff member had witnessed a commotion in a school hallway near the gym in the morning. They approached and saw the victim lying on the ground and identified Rascon-Varela as the suspect. Emergency medical personnel were requested while Rascon-Varela was detained and student witnesses were interviewed. School officials learned that Rascon-Varela had punched the victim in his mid-section without apparent provocation.

School officials had the suspect's mother remove him from the school.

The exact cause of the assault is still under investigation.

Deputies contacted Rascon-Varela at home and arrested him for Aggravated Assault, Disorderly Conduct and Disruption of School Activities. He was transported to, and booked at the Prescott Juvenile Detention Center.

The victim remains under observation in Phoenix Children's Hospital as of today.