An Arizona high school found itself going viral online after a school riot broke out on the premises on Tuesday, caused by a father who wanted to confront his children’s bullies in the courtyard of the school.

Willie Smith, a 40-year-old father from Tucson, Arizona, had been called to the principal’s office that day after his two children had reportedly found themselves in an altercation with another student the day before, according to AZ Central.

Smith refused to leave the school through the back door and instead left through the campus courtyard during lunchtime, reportedly telling campus staff that “If it's going down, it's going down here,” the New York Post reported.

When they reportedly walked through the courtyard, a group of students confronted the children and the father before the fight began. Over 30 students are believed to have participated in the brawl as the father held a student down by the neck before campus security arrived. Smith claims that the student had been assaulting his son.

“This incident occurred in a large area of the campus during a busy time of day (lunch hour). The initial information I have indicates that no weapons were brought onto campus by the suspect and no injuries or medical transports have been reported,” Tucson Police Department Sgt. Richard Gradillas said.

Video of the incident was posted online, with the brawl going viral as it showed Smith holding the student down by his throat while the other students around him engaged in a fight with each other. Smith’s sister Rosalinda Martinez said that her brother was released on Tuesday night while officers continue to investigate the case.

“The judge had seen all the videos and understood the circumstances and told him they could have done things differently and avoid it all,” she said. “I’m sure the kids are going to need some kind of counseling. That was too much trauma. One of my nephews had a concussion.”

Smith is being charged with felony disruption of an educational institution, while an unnamed 15-year-old student is being charged with disorderly conduct and fighting.

Willie Smith, the father of two students going to Tucson High School, was arrested on Tuesday after being involved in an altercation where he reportedly held down a child by the neck while a riot broke out. This is a representational image. Johann Walter Bantz/Unsplash.

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