Updated 05/18/2012 08:12 PM
Fight breaks out after Third Thursday event
State police, along with officers from nearby Lanesborough and Dalton, rush to Pittsfield Thursday in response to what witnesses describe as a brawl between cops and a group of roughly 100 teens. As our Brandon Walker reports, it happened minutes after Pittsfield's popular Third Thursday's fair wrapped up for the evening.
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- Pictures published by online news site iBerkshires detail utter chaos. A group of many teens surrounding cops. One picture shows two cops, one with his bike by his side, pinning down an alleged assailant.
"I thought it was ridiculous, you know," said Maizah Roussow.
Roussow was there as it happened, working directly across from the fight at Liberty Pizza. Ridiculous, she says, because the melee broke out minutes after the first night of Pittsfield's popular Third Thursday's event. Our camera was there as hundreds shopped downtown. Though, after the fun subsided, Roussow says, fists flew.
"I know things get out of hand and arguments escalate, but two girls, young girls, I don't even think they were 16 yet," Roussow said.
Pittsfield Police pick it up from there. They would not go on camera, but confirm a call came in after 8 p.m. Thursday, just as Third Thursday's festivities wrapped up. They say a large group of about 100 young people, teens, had caused a disturbance on the corner of North Street and Melville. Buried within the crowd were two girls, ages 18 and 15, fighting. Police tried to break them up. Instead, they say things turned violent.
In all, six teens were arrested. Police would only say a few officers were assaulted.
No serious injuries reported by those in the mix.
"There was a lot of children in the streets. Mostly kids," Roussow said.
Police would not confirm this to us, but several witnesses off camera say police used pepper spray to gain control of the crowd.
"Do you think that this could potentially hurt the Third Thursday event in the future?" our reporter asked.
"I was thinking that," replied Roussow. "That would be the end of it. There were so many police cars."
As to whether this could compromise next month's Third Thursday, Mayor Dan Bianchi's office deferred comment to Pittsfield Police. To that, police say they are reviewing staffing levels for future outdoor events.