By Alex Dobuzinskis
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Police in Southern California have arrested a high school student who was caught on video appearing to strike a visually impaired classmate, before he himself was punched to the ground by another student, authorities said.
The video of Wednesday's incident at Huntington Beach High School was widely viewed on social media, with many commenters praising the student who stepped in to defend the visually impaired boy.
Huntington Beach police said the incident began after two 16-year-old boys, who have a history of not getting along, got into an argument.
The pair are seen on the video on an outdoor walkway. The visually impaired student appears to be punched at least twice by the other boy who is wearing a wool hat. A third boy then punches the student in the hat from the side, knocking him to the ground before bending down to ask why he tried to "jump a blind kid."
Huntingdon Beach police spokeswoman Jennifer Marlatt said the boy who struck the visually impaired student was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor battery.
The student who intervened and was not arrested is 17 years old, she said.
"I thought that it was like good that the guy came in and broke it up, because the kid was blind," Maddie Botts, a student at the school, told Los Angeles television station KABC on Thursday.
The visually impaired student was taken to a hospital after the fight to be checked out, Marlatt said.
Police did not name the boy who was arrested because he is a juvenile. He was released to his parents.
"Huntington Beach High School has a very strong anti-bullying code of conduct and will not condone this type of behavior from any student," the local high school district said in a statement on Thursday.
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Mohammad Zargham)