CMPD: 32 arrested or cited after brawl breaks out at Romare Bearden Park
The large fight broke out as families were gathering to watch fireworks in Uptown.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A violent fight broke out Tuesday night at Romare Bearden Park just as families were gathering to watch fireworks in uptown Charlotte, resulting in the arrest of more than a dozen juveniles.
Video showed several people throwing punches while others scrambled to get out of the way.
The video showed officers rushing in and working to pull people apart before detaining them.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police tweeted that they intervened in several fights involving juveniles, resulting in multiple arrests.
During a Wednesday afternoon update, CMPD officials said 32 people were cited or arrested in uptown on Tuesday night. Of that number, 17 were teens between the ages of 13 and 17.
Charges for the juveniles, according to police, included:
- Assault on a government official
- Carrying a concealed weapon
- Fireworks possession
- Discharging firearms
Additionally, the guardians of 15 of the arrested teens were cited for contributing to the delinquency of a minor, CMPD officials said. Police also said they seized four guns and two officers sustained minor injuries.
Medic said it responded to three medical calls, as well as a report of shots fired last night at the park, but didn’t take anyone to the hospital.
During Wednesday’s news conference, CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings was asked about concerns that people won’t want to visit uptown Charlotte due to fears about their personal safety.
“Perception is reality because if they don’t feel safe, they’re not going to take advantage of some of the great events that we do have. We want to reverse that,” Jennings said.
Jennings says the juveniles went to uptown with the goal of causing disruption and this could be a wakeup call to parents to not allow their children to be unsupervised.
In a statement, Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles said it was “disheartening to witness violence” on a night when families gathered to celebrate the Fourth of July and enjoy fireworks.
The incidents we observed in Uptown last night are unacceptable, and I want to take a moment to express my heartfelt gratitude to the police officers and first responders who were on the scene. Your bravery and dedication to keeping our community safe make you true heroes. We appreciate the work you do day in and day out,” Lyles’ statement read, in part. “Violence in our community is a community-wide issue that requires a community-wide response. Law enforcement can only do so much. We do have a number of programs in place to stop violence before it happens, but we must come together as a community to get at the heart of these matters.”
From a security standpoint, Jennings says CMPD has a great working relationship with the Charlotte Knights for this event each year.
He says they are considering all options for beefing up security measures at future events.
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