New Rochelle Police responded swiftly and effectively last night to disperse a crowd of an estimated 250 young people that had gathered in the area in front of the Marriott Residence Inn and Town Pizza at the corner of Anderson Street and North Avenue after fights broke out among several youths.
Over 100 youths were gathered in the area around New Street in New Roc City at 9:30 PM. The first fight occurred at about 9:50 PM. By 10:20 PM the police had secured the entire area.
With the two year anniversary of the Easter Riot this weekend and warm weather coming, New Rochelle police have been expected to increase their presence at New Roc City and along Anderson Street soon but the immediate need for large patrols has now been made apparent.
The incident began in earnest in front of Town Pizza where a group of African-American students had gathered and were confronted by a group of mostly white students. After mostly milling about and staring at each other, a white adult male in a black cadillac drove his vehicle West on Anderson to the corner of Anderson and North. The man was attempting to get the attention of one of the white youths. Failing to do so, the man pulled his car out onto North Avenue, double-parked his car in the middle of the street, put on his hazard lights and exited the vehicle. He then joined the group, talking to the white youths and listening to the black youths.
Suddenly, the entire group of youths and the man moved east from Town Pizza towards Key Bank where they stopped. Youths came running from New Roc City, attracted by the crowd that had begun to gather so that soon an estimated 100 students had formed almost an amphitheater, some youths standing on the wall at the bank, others on the small hill which is planted with ivy and trees. The view was partially obstructed but within a minute punches were being thrown. Many of the youths that had gathered around began screaming and ran away, many dialing their cell phones as they went.
Just as suddenly, a small group of white youths, led by the older man, walked away from the group and back towards the Cadillac on North Avenue. A much larger group began moving towards New Roc City, ending up in and near the parking lot at New Roc City, in close proximity to the New Roc NRPD police station. Fights were breaking out among the youths in the large group. Meanwhile, back at the Cadillac, the older man was confronted by several black youths who began banging on his vehicle. There was a brief confrontation. Then the man and several of the white youths entered the vehicle, closed the door and sped away from the scene.
At least nine police cards responded to the scene. An NRPD SUV took up a prominent position on New Street in front of the Marriott. Police and New Roc City security guards moved barriers onto New Street and began pushing the crowd away from New Roc, telling them it was closed and that they should go home. Inside the barrier, small shoving matches broke out with one adult woman dragging what appeared to be her son down New Street yelling that she was going to sue someone and pointing back at a youth who she claimed and assaulted her son. Tensions were very high but police responded calmly and efficiently broke up clusters of youths, directing them away from the area, telling them to go home. Most complied.
The entire incident last about 20 minutes. Police were on the scene in less than 10 minutes and very quickly took control. No arrests were made and there were no serious injuries reported. Police continued to patrol the area until midnight without further incident.
Said one witness, "it's going to be a long summer".
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