Mayor vows to keep streets safe after brawl - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Mayor vows to keep streets safe after brawl

Ashburn Mayor Bob Hunnicutt. Ashburn Mayor Bob Hunnicutt.

August 2, 2004

Ashburn- Most of the shattered glass has been cleared from the 600 block of Madison Avenue, but the images of what happened outside of the Traffic Light Club are still fresh on many minds.

"I can't handle what happens in the street. My club is right there that's all I can control," says Club owner Tino Burgess.

Burgess says he's angry that police ordered him to close his club after a fight broke out around the corner. Cordele State Trooper Cal Pipkin also responded to help disperse the crowd.

"If the trooper hadn't of did that it would have been cool. The other officers they were cool. I was talking to them."

Burgess and others say police used excessive force when they arrested his 18 year old nephew.

"After that everybody just went crazy because they were upset how the police were doing us."

The angry mob began hurling bricks and beer bottles at squad cars causing major damage. Pipkin was hit in the eye with one of the flying objects and sent to the hospital.

"Thank goodness it was the vehicles and not police officers," Mayor Bob Hunnicutt.

Hunnicutt says this is one of the worst incidents that has happened in his city in years, but he supports his police force.

"We whether some people like it or not, we're going to do our best to maintain law and order in this city," he says.

He says the Traffic Light does not have a license to sell alcohol and it's unclear where the beer bottles came from. Hunnicutt says there's no way to tie the bottles to the club, but he's certain with the amount of damage and injury to Trooper Pipkin there will be additional arrests made.

Trooper Pipkin has been transferred to a hospital in Macon. Demetrius Burgess is being held in the Turner County jail but has not yet been charged.

Posted at 6:40 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com

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