Ga. Bar Goers Wreak Havoc on Cops

Wednesday, July 5th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — A crowd of people leaving nightclubs threw bottles at officers, burned two police cars and shot off guns early Wednesday after a man was arrested for firing a gun into the air.

Six officers suffered minor injuries during the brawl, which involved about 500 people.

Police said some of the crowd were also involved in a skirmish Tuesday on nearby St. Simons Island. About 50 people threw rocks and bottles at police arresting a man for riding an all-terrain vehicle in a park.

Brunswick Police Sgt. David O'Neal said police don't know why the crowd turned angry.

Around 1 a.m., an officer approached a man who police said fired a gun in the air. The officer exchanged gunfire with the man before arresting him.

Then a crowd came out of the two bars.

``They started throwing bottles, setting off fireworks and shooting,'' O'Neal said. However, ``We do not believe the shots were fired directly at the officers.''

The violence eventually stretched along a six-block residential area. At least 100 officers — some heavily armed — restored order by 6:30 a.m., O'Neal said.

At sunrise, glowing-hot ashes could be seen beneath the charred remains of a county police car. Nearby, firefighters worked to extinguish what was left of another police car.

Police were weighing the possibility of further arrests Wednesday.