By Lynne Hayes-Freeland

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Several people were arrested after fights broke out downtown Sunday evening.

According to Pittsburgh Police, crowds of juveniles started fighting in the evening and “attempts to verbally encourage them to disperse and stop fighting proved ineffective.”

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Liberty Avenue between 6th and Stanwix streets were closed and six arrests were made, along with multiple citations.

“We are also working closely with our law enforcement partners, community organizations, and Downtown merchants to prevent these roving juveniles from causing problems,” Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said. He met with the District Attorney’s Office earlier Monday to discuss the matter.

Ryan King, who witnessed the fighting, said it was chaotic.

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“It felt like more of a terroristic situation and not a Regatta type feeling,” he said. “I noticed a victim looked unconscious, like maybe they were trying to sit him up then I noticed a lot of officers and SWAT vehicles.”

“You worry that people aren’t going to want to live and move down here, because they’re starting to feel like it’s becoming unsafe again,” one man said.

Here is a detailed account of the incidents police encountered:

  • At approximately 7 p.m., Officers responded to the intersection of Stanwixand Liberty. There, an adult female was pushed over by juveniles. She was treated at the scene by medics. A juvenile female was issued a non-traffic citation.
  • At approximately 8 p.m., Officers responded to the Liberty Avenue corridor for a large group of juveniles who were fighting. A young female was pepper sprayed by someone in the group. Four non-traffic citations were issued to juveniles. Another male juvenile was arrested at 6thand Penn on charges of rioting, resisting arrest and escape. An Officer sustained a hand injury during the arrest.
  • At approximately 9 p.m., several more fights were occurring in the Liberty Avenue corridor and one juvenile male was arrested on charges including aggravated assault, resisting arrest, and escape. An Officer suffered a leg injury during the arrest.
  • At approximately 10 p.m., a male juvenile dislodged an Officer’s canister of OC spray. The canister burst upon impact with the ground and a piece of it struck the officer in the face. The juvenile then attempted to flee the scene, but was apprehended and arrested on charges of disarming law enforcement, aggravated assault and escape.

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Lynne Hayes-Freeland