As police continue investigating what has been described as a "fight club" in Vermont's Rutland County, one of the presumed club's suspected brawlers was charged with aggravated assault stemming from an incident Wednesday night.
Video recently surfaced online of teens brawling in at least three violent match-ups. Girls were among the combatants in the videos shared online, and it appears from off-camera voices in the videos that the encounters were anticipated.
Rutland police and school administrators described the filmed brawls as being part of an apparent "fight club."
"Social media is both a blessing and a curse in terms of what can be seen and broadcast and spread," observed Mary Moran, Rutland's school superintendent.
Moran said colleagues around the country have seen similar "fight club" situations, though no one seems to know what might be motivating kids to do this.
Moran told NBC Boston the fight videos were taken on weekends or outside of normal school hours, and involved some Rutland students, but also people from other towns and even some young adults.
Moran said she heard of one scheduled fight that apparently did not end up occurring.
"Watch your children, take care of your children, and let us know if you hear anything," Moran advised the Rutland community.
Moran said her office is working closely with Rutland police and the Rutland County State's Attorney as the investigation into the videos progresses.
Moran said there are many positive things happening in Rutland, so she described the videos that surfaced as a major disappointment to the community's ongoing efforts to make the city a more pleasant and healthier place to be for all residents.
Law enforcement sources tell NBC Boston one of the fighters in the videos is 18-year-old Maverick Gero of Mount Tabor.
Gero appeared in court Thursday afternoon after police said he assaulted an 18-year-old man Wednesday evening in Rutland.
That alleged assault did not appear to be directly related to the earlier group of videos posted online, sources noted.
Investigators said Gero punched an 18-year-old man in the face multiple times, causing facial injuries and a chipped tooth.
Gero denied an aggravated assault charge and was released on a 24-hour curfew under his mom's supervision.
According to police paperwork filed with the court, in an interview with an officer, Gero claimed he roughed up the young man after he was "running his mouth about [Gero's] family members."
During the Thursday court appearance, Judge Cortland Corsones ordered Gero to not have contact with a number of people, including several juveniles.
A Rutland County prosecutor told the court Gero is involved in other pending cases.
After the hearing, NBC Boston asked Maverick Gero for his side of the story, and whether he was involved in a fight club involving brawls recorded on camera.
Gero declined comment, but did briefly claim he is not involved in an organized fight club.
The videos of the fights are still under investigation. Sources told NBC Boston it's a very complex case, in part because of the need to track down people who appear to be witnessing those bare-knuckle brawls.
School superintendent Moran said her office has advised parents and neighboring communities to be alert to the possibility of fights, following the discovery of the videos.