PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Police are searching for more than a dozen people who, wearing all black and carrying signs, went on a vandalism spree, smashing storefronts, Friday night in Shadyside’s busy business district.
According to Allegheny County emergency dispatchers, much of the damage happened in the 5500-block of Walnut Street.
Though, police also responded to two other locations nearby – Liberty Avenue at Baum Boulevard and Ivy Street and Ellsworth Avenue.
Six storefronts, including clothing stores and restaurants, were shattered. There’s no word yet on a total damage estimate.
- PHOTO GALLERY: More of the destruction in Shadyside
But witnesses say they saw a group of 20 to 30 people, dressed in black and carrying red and black flags as well as signs with the word “anarchy” on them. In one window they painted the word “Yuppy.”
“About 18 or 20 younger people, including some women. Some of the men had what looked like ax handles about four-feet long, and they were specifically taking ax handles – or a thick piece of oak – and smashing them,” said one witness.
Police had stopped the same group earlier as they marched toward Shadyside.
“At that point they told us that they were simply having a funeral procession honoring a friend who died,” said Pittsburgh Police spokesperson Sonya Toler. “However, once they got into the Shadyside area, the business district, they started being a bit destructive causing mayhem in the street.”
Some of the witnesses said they saw firecrackers being set off on Walnut Street.
“All the sudden we heard firecrackers outside the store, and then some smashing, and then really didn’t hear anything else… and then a group of young men – about seven or eight young men, all dressed in black – came shuffling into the Apple Store,” said Nick Scapellato, a witness. “They weren’t wearing masks, but they were all out of breath.”
The business owners were already beginning the cleanup process late Friday night.
Police say they did stop a few people, but no arrests have been made.
The investigation continues.
Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.