Arrested teen says he was defending himself - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Arrested teen says he was defending himself

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A Turner Job Corps Student was stabbed in the back during a fight that Police say involved more than 60 people at the center.  The mother of the 19-year-old charged in the stabbing  says her son was just defending himself. Job Corps officials say that's not true.

Justin Francois is charged with aggravated assault, accused of stabbing 20-year-old Justin Hardy. Hardy was treated at a hospital and released. Three other students are charged with affray.

Police say the fight started about 8:45 Tuesday morning between new students and ones that had been at the center for a while. Francois' mother says her son lost teeth and was being stomped by a group of men.

"They said he had a weapon and must have cut one of the kids to get them off of him. Now he's being charged, and I don't think that's fair, because there was no one around to protect my child," said his mother, Francine Francois.

Turner Job Corps officials say Francois' version of the fight is wrong. They also disagree with the police report.

They claim only four people were involved in the fight and others were just watching. They say the fight lasted only 45 seconds before security officers stopped it.