Brawl injures trooper and teenager - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Brawl injures trooper and teenager

Club Owner Tino Burgess: "The trooper deserved what he got." Club Owner Tino Burgess: "The trooper deserved what he got."
Police Chief Ben Sumner says police car vandals will be arrested. Police Chief Ben Sumner says police car vandals will be arrested.

August 2, 2004

Ashburn-- Two early morning fights near a club send a trooper and a teenager to the hospital. Beer bottles and bricks were thrown, damaging several police cars. Citizens are saying the early morning brawl was sparked by racial tension, but law enforcement say that's not the case.

In the early morning hours, under a peaceful full moon,there was no peace.

Instead, evidence of a massive street fight is dumped in the trash. Witness Shirley Young said: "They pulling out guns and all with kids around, that don't make no sense, see what I'm saying."

The aftermath, broken beer bottles and T-shirts splattered with police mace. "He came and sprayed me dead in my face," said Club Owner Tino Burgess.

Ashburn Police and state troopers were called out to several fights on West Madison Avenue, near the New Traffic Light Bar. But when blue lights appeared, the fight took a turn, sending one trooper to the hospital.

Burgess said, "I heard he got hit in the eye, or whatever, he deserved whatever he got tonight, true enough."

Club owner Burgess says the injured trooper encouraged the brawl. "The other cop tripped my nephew, busted his face all up and the state patrolman hit him in the head with a flashlight and that's when everybody got out of control."

People started collecting bricks and throwing them at law enforcement, busting police car windshields.

"Black people didn't like the way they've done us and they unleashed," Burgess said.

But, Police Chief Ben Sumner says it has nothing to do with race. "Here at the Ashburn Police Department, we do things by the book," said Ashburn Police Chief Ben Sumner. "It doesn't matter who you are.

Burgess' nephew was the only one arrested, but video tape from the police cars may change that. "Take those videos and get some still shots to identify some of these people who damaged our vehicles so they can be incarcerated," the chief said.

Six law enforcement agencies responded to the fight. The club has been open for eight months.

posted at 12:05PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com

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