Bloch Park to have added security after fights Sunday

Published 11:15 pm Monday, April 4, 2016

Bloch Park will receive extra security over the weekends after fights and gunfire were reported Sunday evening.

“The park is out there for pleasure,” said Police Chief John Brock. “When fights and alcohol and gunfire start to play into it, it’s a safety factor for everybody out there.”

Police dispatch received multiple calls of shots fired and fights at 6:45 p.m.

“They all came in at the same time,” Brock said.

Three officers responded to the calls. When they arrived, the crowds had already begun to disperse.

At least two cellphone videos of the fight were posted online. The videos depicted a group of more than 15 women huddled together near the playground when two women began fighting.

Brock said the motive for the altercation was not reported and no one was seriously injured.

At the moment, authorities are unable to determine if the altercation and the reported gunfire have any connection.

Brock said because the fighting is a misdemeanor, police can’t take action until victims press charges.

“We will wait until the victims sign warrants and then we’ll go from there,” Brock said. “We really can’t do anything until the victim signs a warrant.”

In the meantime, the park will receive extra patrol on the weekends, especially Sunday evening when it tends to be more populated.

“We’ll keep monitoring the situation and if we have to put more officers in the area, we will,” Brock said.

According to the Selma Code of Ordinances (Ord. No. O106-11/12, § 2, 3-27-12), it is unlawful to discharge firearms or consume alcoholic beverages at any public access area. Violators will be punished $250 on first offence and $500 for second offense and thereafter, per offense.

“Somehow, when alcohol comes in to play, common sense kind of goes out the window,” Brock said. “We don’t want this kind of activity going on in the park.”

Brock said copies of the video will be sent to the Criminal Investigation Department for further investigation should warrants be signed.