A Santa Barbara County Sheriff's deputy is accused of punching a female student at Righetti High School in Santa Maria, California, on Wednesday.
Two cell phone videos (below) filmed by students captured the moment, which ignited chaos and caused a lockdown on the campus.
"We will be happy to explain the video," Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Kelly Hoover told the Santa Maria Times. "It was definitely a dangerous situation for our deputies. One of the deputies was punched in the chest."
“Her friends surrounded the deputy and pushed and hit him,” added Hoover. “In the process of defending himself, he shoved the females away and one of the suspects was knocked to the ground.”
However, one of videos appears to show the deputy punching the girl, which elicited screams from other students.
Hoover said the deputy was interviewing a victim of a fight when he got a call about a second fight, which resulted in the deputy being pelted with food. Moments later, the incident with the girl occurred and set off a near riot.
According to KEYT, the Santa Maria Police, California Highway Patrol, Santa Barbara County Fire, a helicopter and other deputies were called to the scene.
Four males and two females were arrested, charged with multiple crimes and transported to a local juvenile hall.
The high school was placed on lockdown twice yesterday, but was to have re-opened today with increased security.