Reporting Mike Hellgren
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Disturbing violence. Widespread chaos in and around the Inner Harbor is worse than first thought. Newly released tapes reveal the extent of the mayhem. Groups of out-of-control teens terrified tourists as police worked to keep them in check. It unfolded on St. Patrick’s Day.
Mike Hellgren has the new emergency recordings.
The vicious beating of a tourist in downtown Baltimore was far from the only chaos unfolding on St. Patrick’s Day.
Emergency recordings show police used their chopper, Citiwatch cameras and officers on the ground to control huge numbers of young people, likely drawn there on Facebook.
“I don’t need no one on the air. Please, just listen up. I need somebody to go to Pratt and Light. A medic is trying to get through. Someone has stomped a male in the crowd. The ambo just passed a large group of kids assaulting the male with one child on the ground,” said a call.
The recordings–released as part of an investigation by WJZ’s media partner, the Baltimore Sun–reveal more fights than first thought in an area from the Block to 1st Mariner Arena.
“Let’s go, y’all. Don’t get on the air. Just go,” said a call.
“I need an ambulance. Unconscious male,” said a call.
“Stay together. Do not get separated, OK? And try to keep your cars positioned so you can get out of there in a hurry,” said a call.
As police would get to one fight, another would break out and they had to close off several major intersections downtown.
Police declined to comment Monday, but the mayor spoke previously about the turmoil.
“They were being disruptive and we moved in to take control of the situation,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
“Citiwatch confirms that we have a large, large group of juveniles,” said a call.
The harbor’s next big event is the Fourth of July. Last year saw several fights, the murder of a father visiting from Alabama and a 4-year-old hit by a stray bullet. This year, there will be limited exit and entry points to help police control crowds in an area considered Baltimore’s crown jewel.
“Tourism is our fourth largest industry and we have to protect it,” Rawlings-Blake said.
Police made 10 arrests, mostly for curfew violations.