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PORTAGE — A mother attending a junior high school football game Tuesday night was taken away in handcuffs after attacking the mother of the girl her son had been dating, according to police.

Sarahi Rivera, 32, of Portage, claimed the other woman had been spreading a rumor about her son, police said.

Rivera faces a misdemeanor count of battery, according to the incident report.

Portage police said they were called at 6:20 p.m. Tuesday to Willowcreek Middle School in response to a woman striking another woman near the concession stand.

The alleged victim told police Rivera approached her saying, "I heard you won't leave my son's name out of your mouth."

Rivera then accused the other woman of making a disparaging claim about her son's relationship with the other woman's daughter, according to police. The other woman denied the accusation.

Police said they were told school officials "hashed out all the issues with the juveniles and there had been no further contact between the two."

After Rivera began using foul language in front of the other mother's 9-year-old daughter, the woman said she was "not going to do this" and started to walk away, according to police. She then was allegedly attacked from behind by Rivera, who pulled her hair and struck her in the face until she was pulled away by several men in the area.

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Rivera then broke free and struck the other woman in the face again, police said.

Police said the purported victim had a red mark on her left cheek and above her right eye. Blood could also be seen in her hair above her right ear.

"She was removing strands of hair from her head that she said was ripped out during the altercation," police said.

A witness, who did not know either woman, confirmed the description of events given by the purported victim, according to police.

Rivera admitted to striking the other woman and doing so first, police said.

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Porter/LaPorte County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Bob is a 23-year veteran of The Times. He covers county government and courts in Porter County, federal courts, police news and regional issues. He also created the Vegan in the Region blog, is an Indiana University grad and lifelong region resident.