Investigation into Weekend Fountain Square Disturbance Continues

Richard Chiles, WLWT (Cincinnati), July 6, 2015

Police continue to investigate a weekend incident that left two officers and at least one civilian injured late Saturday.

The disturbance began just before 11 p.m. just as a concert on the Square and the Reds game were wrapping up. Witnesses said officers already at Fountain Square were directing crowds when a fight broke out among a group of youths.

Several witnesses reported people setting off fireworks in trash cans, and throwing fireworks and other objects at police officers.

“The police were outnumbered for a minute. Everything was chaotic. They had cars stopped. Everything was out of control,” said witness Reggie Finley.

One officer was punched in the face, while another was hit by a bottle. Both were treated for their injuries and released.

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“There were about 30 cars that responded; lights and sirens were going, the police were jumping out of the cars and they were arresting people (and) putting them into cars,” a witness said, who requested not be identified.

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Neville confirmed that video circulating on social media of an assault victim is being used as evidence an an investigation. He said there have not been any criminal charges filed yet and said that police do have more evidence than just the video.

Neville said the victim in the video, a man from New Albany, Ind., was treated and released from UC Medical Center.

He added that the video makes it appear as though no one was responding, but police were handling the crowd as soon as they were aware of a person down. Officers circled the victim for his protection until an ambulance arrived.

Police said Jy Quinne Britten, 21, was charged with assault on a police officer, obstructing official business and two counts of resisting arrest. Gary Sheffield, 29, was also arrested. He is accused of misconduct for not clearing the scene.

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Two juveniles picked up by police during the incident were in court Monday as well. One, age 17, is charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and assaulting an officer. The other, age 15, is charged with assaulting an officer, resisting arrest and obstructing official business.

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City Council members and residents are commend police officers for the restraint they displayed during Saturday’s incident.

“Certainly we like to see the kind of restraint the officers showed and the ability to get the job done with as little damage to anybody as possible,” Councilman Wendell Young said.

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