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Brawl Erupts At Pompom Event in D.C.

SE Woman Arrested At Team Contest

By Martin Weil and Allan Lengel
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, December 13, 2004; Page B03

A scuffle broke out at a District pompom competition during the weekend, and a Southeast Washington woman was arrested and charged with hitting a teenager with a trophy.

The fighting Saturday came after the announcement of judges' decisions at the music and dance contest, at Ballou Senior High School for teams from District recreation centers.

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"A brawl broke out in the gym," said Bridgette Rhodes, whose daughter performed in the competition. "People were fighting. Somebody threw cans. Somebody threw a trophy. It was just out of control."

Rhodes said that when she exited the school building, in the 3400 block of Fourth Street SE, she saw two people holding their heads.

"I don't know which one was hit by the trophy and which by the punches," she said.

A 14-year-old girl, who police said was hit with a trophy, was taken to Children's Hospital after the melee and released, authorities said.

Tammy Bryant, 41, of the 300 block of Anacostia Drive SE, was arrested, said Sgt. Joe Gentile, chief spokesman for the D.C. police. He said she was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon. Bryant could not be reached yesterday for comment.

Rhodes, whose daughter was on a team from Turkey Thicket Recreation Center, said the annual competition, which has a $5 admission, draws ample crowds.

After winners were announced, Rhodes said, two women began arguing. "Next thing I know," she said, "I saw a brawl . . . 15 to 20 people, then a big pack, started fighting."

For a time, she said, people were trying to pull women out of the knot of scufflers. But the "pack got bigger and I saw people throwing stuff," she said.

Staff writer Theola S. Labbe contributed to this report.

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