Father dies in assault over middle school fight, family says

Published: May. 23, 2023 at 3:44 AM EDT
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BROOKLYN PARK, Md. (WBAL) - A Maryland father was beaten to death outside his home while protecting his children from a fight that started at his son’s middle school, his family says.

Christopher Wright, 43, was killed when a fight that started at Brooklyn Park Middle School was brought to his doorstep, according to his fiancée, Tracy Karopchinsky. She says her 14-year-old son got into a fight with another teenager at school Friday afternoon.

Later that day, she says three teenagers and two adults showed up at her house looking to fight her son. She says Wright went outside and told the group that the 14-year-old would not be coming out to fight.

Christopher Wright, 43, died from a traumatic brain injury after his fiancée says a group of...
Christopher Wright, 43, died from a traumatic brain injury after his fiancée says a group of teens and adults assaulted him over a fight that started at his son’s middle school.(Source: Family photo, WBAL via CNN)

“Then, they said that if he’s not going to fight, then you’re going to fight us,” Karopchinsky said.

Wright was badly beaten by the group, his fiancée says. He was taken to a trauma center, where he was pronounced dead Saturday from a traumatic brain injury.

“Just looking at the damage that was done to him, that wasn’t just punching that did that. ... I mean, the damage was done before the ambulance ever took him away. He had had a seizure. It was done. There was nothing that the hospital could do,” Karopchinsky said.

The incident was caught on the victim and a neighbor’s security cameras.

“My dad and I tried to go on to the camera to look, and the first video that comes up is my 12-year-old son screaming, ‘Daddy, Daddy, Daddy’ and running out of the house to go into the street and help his dad. I couldn’t watch anymore after that. I just couldn’t,” Karopchinksy said.

School officials confirmed the fight between the teens and say they worked to address the issue. Now, they’re working with police on the investigation.

Police said charges could be filed against the individuals involved.

“Anybody who assisted or abetted or was an accomplice of the main suspect or the primary suspect in this incident would be culpable,” said Marc Limansky, spokesman for Anne Arundel County Police.

Karopchinsky is warning parents that violence among teens has gone too far and that parents need to step up.

“They didn’t just ruin our lives. Their lives are going to be changed forever. Their parents’ lives are going to be changed forever, and nobody thinks about that just from a fight. It’s everywhere, and somewhere, we as parents, are failing these children. ... It’s not the school’s responsibility. It’s our responsibility,” she said.

She adds that Wright was a devoted father who loved the stars and gardening. The family is planning to hold a candlelight vigil in his memory.

Police are asking anyone with information on the case to contact them.