Last Saturday, three police officers in Bay Minette, Alabama were assaulted as they were trying to arrest a man for public intoxication and disorderly conduct at the city’s May Day festivities.
AL.com reports that the Bay Minette Police Department received a report about a fight breaking out at the festival. Around 6 p.m., the first of more than 20 police officers appeared at the scene. The police presence included deputies from the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office, the Spanish Fort Police Department, and the Loxley Police Department in addition to the Bay Minette police.
According to Bay Minette Chief of Police Clarence Crook, the dispatched officers heard gunshots soon after their arrival but were unable to locate where the shots had come from. After receiving more reports about fighting and disorderly conduct, the officers made some of the festival goers leave.
Eventually, the officers confronted an intoxicated man who claimed someone had several people pulled a gun on him.
“He was intoxicated,” Crook said. “We told him that if that occurred we can get a report done when he’s sober and sign a warrant on the person. He would leave the area but every few minutes he would come back and constantly say another person pulled a gun on him.”
The officers decided to arrest the man for disorderly conduct and public intoxication in order to “ease some of the tension,” as Crook put it. As they were making the arrest, the man began to complain about chest pain and lightheadedness. An ambulance was called and the man was taken to the hospital.
However, during the arrest, Bay Minette officers were struck by at least two people, sustaining injuries to the nose, arm, and shoulder. They received medical attention and are believed to be fine. Because the officers were wearing body cameras, the police are hopeful they will be able to identify the culprits.
Body and dash cams for police officers have become more in demand recently due to controversy over police tactics in the United States. These cameras record evidence and enable police officers to review their performance and improve their safety techniques.
There were about 500 people at the event.
The individual who was taken to the hospital is believed to be recovering. Crook said they plan on issuing a warrant for his arrest after his release.