(Reuters) - An after-school fight that left two police officers hurt and eight students under arrest was stopped by a man who stepped out of his suburban Philadelphia home carrying a handgun and ordered everyone to "back up," police said.
The melee erupted on Friday in an outdoor corridor used by about 4,000 high school and middle school students. It is patrolled by eight officers during the school year.
An officer was called to break up a fight between two teens and after taking one into custody another jumped on his back, Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said on Wednesday. The officer was next rushed by about 40 onlookers.
Just then, a 35-year-old man with a permit to carry a concealed weapon stepped into the fray. "He just told them, 'Back up.' They froze. More police came, and we were able to get it under control," Chitwood said.
"I think in this particular case, this Good Samaritan probably saved the officer from significant injury and, God forbid, one of the students from getting hurt by police," Chitwood said.
Eight teens between the ages of 13 and 17 were charged with rioting, disorderly conduct and aggravated assault.
The officers sustained hand and leg injuries.
(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New York)