Security, police mobbed over open fire hydrant www.privateofficer.com
Security, police mobbed over open fire hydrant http://www.privateofficer.com
Police and private officers were swarmed by people in one area apartment complex in what police say all started with an open fire hydrant.
As public safety officers escorted the water department into the complex to shut off the hydrant that someone had illegally turned on, security officers say that a group of angry people gathered around them prompting them to call for assistance.
Police and public safety officers arrested four youths and an adult in East Hills on Sunday as a result of the melee but residents accuse city police and a private security force of overreacting.
“We don’t have (a) pool open. The kids want to get wet,” said Chaunte Moore, 17.
Vinansky said the youths began throwing objects, including bricks, at East Hills Public Safety security vehicles when they accompanied water department employees who came to shut off the hydrant. East Hills Public Safety is a private organization that helps patrol the apartment complex.
Scores of residents spilled into the yards, sidewalks and streets as numerous city police officers in cars, on motorcycles and with police dogs kept watch. Several people were pepper sprayed, including at least one city officer who was hit accidentally, Vinansky said. Police began clearing the area at 7:30 p.m.
Resident Keiona Fisher, 20, who was among those playing in the water, said the children threw only water at the security officers and their cars, and charged that they and city police overreacted and were needlessly harsh.
Fisher said residents videotaped the incident and will push to have the security force and city police held accountable.
“They teamed up and they did what they wanted to,” she said. “They abused their authority.”
Fisher said police used a Taser on her 54-year-old grandmother, who was hospitalized, but police could not be reached to comment on the claim. A representative of Second East Hills also could not be reached for comment.
Chekela Phipps, 30, of Penn Hills, who said she grew up in the neighborhood, said a security officer twisted her 9-year-old nephew’s arm, prompting her to call police, who she said made the situation worse.
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