|Despite online rumors, no shots fired at Summerfest disturbance|
|Written by News Desk|
|Sunday, 03 August 2014 07:24|
By Sarah Morrison Stephens
Close to 11,000 people attended this year's Summerfest at the Pines Golf Course, and five of them got more than fireworks at the end.
A fight around 9 p.m. near the end of the day's activities lead to five men being arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and/or failure of disorderly persons to disperse.
Those arrested were Brandon F. Owens, black male, 18, of Prattville; Kijuan L. Wyatt, black male, 19, of Millbrook; Roderick O. Bibb, black male, 19, of Elmore; Kuendrea M. Neely, black male, 20, of Wetumpka; and Carlos Young, black male, 18, of Millbrook.
All were arrested at the scene and transported to the Millbrook Police Department for processing and taken to the Elmore County Jail. Their cases will be heard in Millbrook Municipal Court and Millbrook Police Chief P.K. Johnson said his office will be requesting jail time.
Despite rumors, reports in some media and posts on social media sites, there were no shots fired, and no one was shot, according to Johnson.
"It is pretty typical in our time now with social media that a rumor can spread like wildfire," Johnson said. "But there were no shots fired relating to this incident, and no one was shot. A report came in separate from this incident and more than an hour later of possible shots fired in the area of Rolling Hills, but it was only fireworks. It really is a shame that you have a very small group of folks who can ruin a great day. We are not going to put up with it, and people need to know that."
Summerfest has become an annual event that features live music, food vendors, activities for children and a fireworks display at the end of the evening.
Around 8 p.m. Friday night officers observed a possible disturbance in the crowd directly behind the tent which housed the band and sponsors of the event. Officers went into the crowd and the people involved ceased whatever had caused the disturbance and fled into the crowd. Officers were unable to identify those involved. Within an hour a physical altercation was seen by officers and when they refused to disperse they were arrested.
"It's a shame that the actions of a few selfish and inconsiderate people can tarnish a great local family oriented event like Summerfest," Johnson said. "The City of Millbrook, it employees, untold volunteers and vendors put a tremendous amount of hard work and effort into having a quality event for our citizens to attend and enjoy each year. For 12 years we've had had this event with very few minor problems. The crowds at these events have grown from five or six thousand to nearly eleven thousand (estimated) last night. Nearly all of the department's 30 police officers were on hand for security at the event, as they have been since the very first Summerfest 13 years ago," Johnson said.
Johnson praised his police officers for an outstanding job of responding to issues promptly and making arrests.
"I can assure our citizens that had to witness and endure this unacceptable behavior, we will be asking for jail time for each of these individuals when it comes time for their cases to be adjudicated in municipal court.
"There is absolutely no reason for individuals to act in the manner that this group of individuals did, and certainly not in a crowded venue with families and children present," Johnson said. "We will not tolerate this type behavior in our city. I've always bragged on our citizens for years that we could have these large special events and not have problems because of the caliber of people that make this city their home. We still believe that statement because overall it is still correct. Unfortunately, in today's society we are not immune from the ills that cause people to act in violent and disrupted ways. That does not mean we have to accept or tolerate it," Johnson added
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A few weeks ago Alabama Supreme Court Justice Jim Main (pictured right) spoke to students at the Jones School of Law at Faulkner University. In addition to reviewing the diversity of the Alabama Supreme Court, Main stressed the importance of civics education in our schools and the importance of promoting civics by the soon to be lawyers.Read more...
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