GREENSBORO, N.C. — Three teenagers have been charged in connection with an Independence Day disturbance that prompted police to use tear gas in an effort to disperse a riled crowd from a downtown Greensboro park.
Zannie Deangelo Seagraves, 18, Jimel Tyrea Leach, 17, and Tyrik Alexander Reaves, 19, were each charged in connection with the disturbance, which began after the city had concluded its annual fireworks display.
Seagraves was arrested and charged with disturbing the peace while Leach was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. Reaves was cited for failing to disburse and released at the scene.
According to police, there were an estimated 1,000 people present in Center City Park when small groups within the crowd started pushing each other around 10:30 p.m.
“They began to break into smaller groups and we began to have several violent issues — fist fights, pushing, shoving… We had one incident where they disrupted a business and turned over furniture,” Deputy Chief Wayne Scott told FOX8′s Lindsey Eaton.
Scott said some punches were thrown before officers used a tear gas “fogger” to break up the fight. He said police use the fogger about six times each year and that it has no long-term health effects.
“It works pretty quickly because it does exactly what we want it to do… Make it uncomfortable where you are at and that we want you to leave,” Scott said.
Police spokeswoman Susan Danielsen said investigators are not sure what caused the disturbance, adding that it will be hard to determine a cause due to the size of the crowd.
No serious injuries were reported.