Caught on tape: Police in Florida were called to break up a massive crowd that gathered for a block party over the weekend and were pelted with glass bottles, and other objects when they tried to arrest two men for exchanging a firearm.
A massive block party over the weekend in Florida turned violent after police officers were pelted with glass bottles, a bar stool, and other objects while arresting two men seen exchanging a firearm.
The incidents – some of which were captured on video released by police — unfolded early Sunday as the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office was trying to disperse a crowd of around 1,500 who were blocking streets in DeLand.
“The behavior that occurred here overnight was dangerous, senseless, unacceptable and an embarrassment to our community,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement. “None of it will deter law enforcement from coming back when we’re needed.”
Police in Florida say they made several arrests while breaking up a block party in DeLand. (Volusia County Sheriff’s Office)
Police say shortly after midnight, deputies that had arrived at the large gathering observed two men exchanging a firearm. Then, when one of the individuals was told to drop the weapon, he threw it away and tried to flee, they add.
Officers eventually recovered the loaded Ruger 9mm and arrested 37-year-old Charles Turner, whom they described as having a lengthy criminal history with 18 prior convictions. He now is facing two counts of possession of a weapon/ammunition by a convicted felon and inciting a riot, among other charges.
The other man allegedly involved in the exchange – Alphonso Parker, 27 – was arrested on similar charges.
“After securing Turner and Parker, two deputies were hit with a cup of alcohol. While the person who threw it was being taken into custody, one of the deputies was sucker-punched by another male subject who immediately fled the area,” the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said. “Another deputy and DeLand PD officer were hit with a barstool and mason jar by other members of the crowd who immediately fled. Glass bottles were also being thrown at patrol vehicles in the street while arrests were being made.”
The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office says around 1,500 people gathered for the event. (Volusia County Sheriff’s Office)
The chaos left a Volusia officer with a minor knee injury, while a DeLand officer suffered a minor head injury, authorities say.
“Overall, deputies conducted 12 traffic stops, issued five citations, towed five vehicles, made seven arrests, recovered two firearms, some narcotics and $3,840 in cash,” Volusia Sheriff spokesman Andrew Gant told the West Volusia Beacon.
Florida’s health department currently is advising against holding gatherings of more than 250 people during the coronavirus pandemic, as they “offer more opportunities for person-to-person contact and therefore pose greater risk of COVID-19 transmission.”