Ashburn Police make arrests in mob fight - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Ashburn Police make arrests in mob fight

August 11, 2004

Ashburn-- Wednesday , Ashburn Police arrested several people they say were involved in a mob fight that injured a half dozen officers. Witnesses say officers incited the violence but police say that's simply not true.

Police have made  four arrests in what they describe as a brawl with an angry mob. A mob that threw bricks and glass bottles. It happened last week in front of the Traffic Light club in Ashburn, when law enforcement officials responded to reports of a fight. When it was over, six officers were injured. One was taken to the hospital.

"We had car video cameras going and we were able to take those tapes and identify the suspects. At that point that was a crucial piece of evidence that allowed us to get warrants on these individuals," says Police Chief Ben Sumner.

But while police worked to identify suspects, some citizens were busy pointing fingers. Witnesses blame officers for starting violence. But Chief Sumner says the video tapes say otherwise.

"They were up and just professional and trying to do there best to disperse the crowd and explain what was going on to the people there," says Sumner.

The police department limited the duties of one officer accused of using excessive force. Mayor Bob Hunnicutt says that doesn't mean he did anything wrong. The decision was made because the officer received threats and the investigation is still open.

"No disciplinary action will be taken they just recommend that he work in other areas until everything is investigated," says Hunnicutt.

Police say the 4 arrests are just the beginning. As they review more police video, they may identify more suspects and make more arrests.

The suspects who have been arrested face charges ranging from inciting violence to destruction of government property.

posted at 6:26PM by scott.hunter@walb.com

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