Fights disrupt Albany fireworks

Published: Jul. 5, 2012 at 3:59 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 8, 2012 at 3:59 AM EDT
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Albany Police suspended the July 4th fireworks show Wednesday night because they say a series of fights put families, who were there to enjoy a night of fun, in danger.

Chief John Proctor said a number of fights broke out in the Turtle Park area where many people gathered to watch the fireworks show. He said it became a safety and crowd control issue, and police officers made the decision to suspend the fireworks.

About 10:45 p.m., the Chief told WALB News Ten the area had been cleared. A few minutes later, Capt. Reginald Brown told us the fireworks show did resume, although few people were there to see the end of it

The Chief said APD had 85 officers assigned to the event. He said there was no gunfire and there's no indication that gangs were involved. Proctor blamed the problems on juveniles who were downtown without any adult supervision.

Before all that trouble, vendors and families gathered for what they expected to be a fun and safe celebration of our nation's independence.

Patricia Porter went downtown with her family. She said, "I'm glad that they're doing something for us, having something for us to come out here and enjoy because it's not often as a city group that we get to enjoy anything."

Rodney Walker is a vendor who was selling chicken wings. He said, "Oh, having an event like this for the city is great because it brings good people and good food all together in the same place at the same time."

Unfortunately, the good event they expected was marred by violence started by troublemakers.

Chief Proctor said no one was seriously injured in any of the fights. Capt. Brown told us officers did make some arrests, but he was not sure how many.

Copyright 2012 WALB.  All rights reserved.