Police respond to disturbance involving around 300 teenagers in downtown Winston-Salem, 2 arrested

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(Aaron Glancy/WGHP)

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Around 300 teenagers were involved in a disturbance in downtown Winston-Salem on Friday night that ended with police officers pepper-spraying several teens and arresting two of them.

Briyonna Champayne Gambrell, 16, and Shaquan Mizell, 19, both of Winston-Salem, have been charged with resist/delay and obstructing an officer.

The incident started around 8 p.m. A large group of teens had gathered in the parking lot of First Presbyterian Church off Cherry and Marshall streets, witnesses said.

The group then moved to Third Street, near the U.S. Post Office on Town Run Lane and some of the teen starting running back toward Fourth and Marshall streets.

At some point, a fight broke out between two groups, witnesses said. No injuries were reported.

Some of the teens, all of whom declined to give their names, said officers pepper-sprayed several teens in an effort to end the melee.

About 200 teens eventually gathered in Winston Square Park on Marshall Street.

At least 30 police officers were at the park and 10 police cars were parked along Marshall Street.

After the melee ended, many teens gathered in small groups in the park. The officers remained at the park and monitored the teens.

The disturbance occurred on the last day of classes in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. Groups of teens typically come downtown on Friday and Saturday nights during the summer months. In the past, owners of some downtown businesses complained about the teens and city began offering alternative entertainment for them on Friday nights at recreation centers. That program, called The Mix, ended at least two years ago.

Officer T.R. Albert accused Mizell of fighting in public and running away from him as Albert was breaking up the fight, the warrant said.

Mizell was being held Friday night in the Forsyth County Jail with his bond set at $1,000, court records show.

He is scheduled to appear in court July 25.


    • Ian Christopher Butera

      You have no idea what you are talking about. Your ignorant statement is a stunning testament to your lack of knowledge on this subject. This problem plagues many cities, many of them that have growing downtown’s. If anything, the city has been proactive in combating the problem with innovative solutions. No single city has found a solution for disenfranchised urban youths running amok in tight urban spaces.

      • joe

        S lets don’t blame the ones that cannot survive in a civilized society, blame city growth. I’m surprised you didn’t blame it on Bush.

      • Ty Raid @WM2793

        Isn’t disenfranchised just another way of saying Im poor I want stjff, I just dont want t.o work for it

      • sophie

        Good grief! STOP making excuses for this animalistic behavior! It’s ALWAYS blacks and hispanics exhibiting pack mentality, unwilling to act like they are in any way civilized and decent. ‘Minority’ youths and adults have MORE opportunity than ANY white person living today, yet so many of them go around acting like heathens! STOP MAKING EXCUSES FOR THEM! THEY ARE NOT VICTIMS!!!!!!!!! And before any of you jump on me with both feet, realize I DO NOT CARE if you call me racist, ignorant, or any other of the names you call people when you know you have no argument.

      • the outlaw

        Ok lets go this way ill use the race card just like AL and JACKSON does what was they doing out that late at night also why does the news put the photo of blacks on there for you be the judge.THE TRUTH IS HARD TO HANDLE . LOOK AT THE USA NO BETTER

  • john jacob

    I work downtown and saw this whole thing happening…hoodlums everywhere starting fights left and right. Last year, there were numerous of fights and what the article says, businesses all over downtown do not agree with this “get together”. It kills the businesses revenue because other civilized people don’t want to be around that nonsense and I don’t blame them. If they want to do these hood rat things, go back to where they are from and take it elsewhere other than downtown Winston. Downtown Winston is a nice and safe place otherwise as the cops legitimately do their jobs. The city of Winston needs to end this now before someone gets seriously injured or worse and trust me, it’s bound to happen sooner or later.

    • Nope19

      Agree… to bad most parts of WS are already taken over by hood rats. That’s why I don’t go down town!

    • Ian Christopher Butera

      The city and many of the local business operators have been trying to figure out this problem for a while now. There is no easy solution to it and to say there is would be stunningly naive. The city will no doubt be having meetings about this like they do every summer. Feel free to participate and offer helpful solutions.

      • Iama Retiree

        From the looks of things on f/b, I guess you think you are tough ! What a misconception. You appear to be a first class red-neck. Pictures with guns in your mouth–really!
        You were probably right in the middle of things in downtown W/S.

      • Matt

        That’s extremely strange. And no he wasn’t, it was a huge group of spooks. The complete opposite of this dude.

  • Doc Bennett

    If you people would only bring back “Midnight Basketball”, stop trying to require ID to vote, get the downtown trolly, raise teacher pay and throw some more money at the food stamp program all these problems would end. You made it part of the way there by NOT requiring any parents of WSFC schools prove they were below the poverty level and just giving all kids free lunches.

  • news2me

    “That program, called The Mix, ended at least two years ago.”
    That was a great program. So sorry to see it end.
    I know Dr Martin surely made that happen

  • Faye Farlow

    This is certainly out of order They should not be allowed to gather in the streets or church parking lots! They city is not required to provide a baby sitter or mob sitter!

  • Bo Diddley

    Another thug group just like their parents with no common sense and too much time on their hands…

  • Derek

    I guess there were 800 parents who did not know where their kids were at and what they were doing last night. We should probably start there…

  • Angie

    Winston-Salem has tried giving the teens alternate places to gather. It didnt last long because the groups in question cant go anywhere and act like they have some sense. Its really a shame because downtown has tried really hard to revamp and make it a pleasurable place to visit.

  • Bo Diddley

    I’ve got a nice alternative place for them to hangout. It has metal bars and they will be supervised 24 hours a day. We can include 3 meals a day and field trips to local roadways to pick up litter. Orange jumpsuit at no extra charge.

  • NobodyAtAll

    If they want to hang out in a gang, why not make it a chain gang? There is tons of trash laying around in so many places that really needs to be cleaned up. That would give them something beneficial to do.

  • MarineDad

    Same thing happened in Greensboro last summer they had 15 year old kids out at 1 am fighting. my question is where are the parents? you can sugar coat it all you want. but the way you act shows how you were raised!!!

  • Steph

    Where are these teens parents? This is a discipline problem. They aren’t being disciplined by their parents so they don’t think they have to follow any rules. Until rules are enforced things like this will continue to occur, and probably get worse. It’s not the cities job to supply free entertainment.

  • Iama Retiree

    @” The Great Hamletto” – Ian’s F/B page should not be there if it is not be looked at — Remember F/B is public and the pictures and comments say a lot about a person and their character. I think you need to grow up a bit !

  • Tricky D

    Well they can do what they want to do, but if I ever go down there and they are acting up, I have 15 little buddies that stay on me that are guaranteed to stop them in their tracks, Teens or no teens, You want to act like a gang banger, I’m going to treat you as such, To me, My life is worth a lot more than yours

  • SherryB

    I saw several posted videos and not a light face in the bunch..And then they wonder why they are always in trouble, these are little thug hood rats with nothing better to do in life than cause as many problems as possible and then lay the blame elsewhere..

  • Loren

    A reminder to people posting here: for every youth of color who may have been involved in the downtown activities this article describes, there is another who was not involved at all, and doing something different with their time.

    There are people of color all around us with diverse lifestyles, behaviors and identities. Just like white folks.

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