Downtown Fight Caught on Tape
A quiet downtown street turned into a crime scene early Saturday morning when some people celebrating the Fourth started getting out of hand. As police tried to stop the fighting, one of our viewers caught it on tape.
"This was a classic case of a handful of people being disorderly fighting and a number of other innocent law-abiding bystanders being in the area," said Captain Darin Southworth with the Lansing Police Department.
The conflict started in the Washington Square area around 2:00 am on Saturday. Police estimate that nearly 200 people were in the area at the time. They still don't know what caused the fight, but Southworth says increased security for the firework show led to a quick police response.
"With a number of other officers that responded they were able to control that and prevent any injury or assault upon police officers," he added.
No weapons were involved and Southworth says the majority of hostilities were verbal. Officers did have trouble controlling some people in the crowd, leading to five arrests.
"Officers did have to contend with some resistant subjects and some hostility that was directed towards them," Southworth said.
Police say this type of fighting with rowdy crowds downtown doesn't happen a lot, but they also aren't so uncommon that police are prepared to handle these situations.
"We have seen this type of behavior breakout before which are among reasons why we take a proactive stance in policing the downtown area," Southworth explained.
Keeping a community police officer on watch downtown to supplement regular patrols is just one thing they're doing to prevent these situations.
"Once there's nothing to look at folks typically go home and that's what we found on this night," Southworth said.
Police are just happy they were able to disperse the crowd before anything escalated.