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Police Charge 7 In Eastern Shore Brawls

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CRISFIELD, Md. (AP) — City police have charged seven people in three large fights at an apartment complex after the brawls were recorded and posted on the Internet.

One of those charged made the videos that were shot at the Somers Cove apartment complex and posted on YouTube, according to documents filed Thursday in Somerset County District Court. Summonses were issued to six people from Crisfield and one Marion Station resident for charges such as disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace.

Police Chief Mike Tabor said more charges will be filed during the next few days. Police have identified 75 people in the videos, many of who don’t live at Somers Cove or even in Crisfield. Some live in Princess Anne and Marion Station.

Tabor recently formed a Community Action Council citizens group to involve residents in addressing problems in Crisfield. At a council meeting this week, he asked the 12 participants to be the “ears of the community” and to report problems immediately. No one called police until after the Somers Cove fights were over.

Tabor showed one video, edited with rap music, to the council. It showed teenage girls fighting in front of a large group of spectators, including numerous adults.

The videos have been removed from YouTube, but Tabor has copies.

One resident of the apartment complex described Somers Cove at the council meeting as a “war zone.”

“Just hang tough. Hang with me,” Tabor responded.

Mayor Percy Purnell and the City Council met earlier this week with the Crisfield Housing Authority’s board members and manager to discuss curbing crime at Somers Cove, which is a federally funded housing complex. Tabor has proposed the authority create a list of banned visitors, to include known drug dealers and other criminals, and present it each month to police and tenants. He said the authority has started compiling the list.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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