Street brawls fill busy day for Gloversville police

City police officers must have felt like they were on the ropes Tuesday as a series of street fights

City police officers must have felt like they were on the ropes Tuesday as a series of street fights erupted in the afternoon on East Pine Street and then continued well into the night a block north on Burr Street.

There were arrests in both brawls, which police said attracted large numbers of spectators and led to calls for assistance from all available police agencies, including state conservation officers.

The turmoil began around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday on East Pine Street, when a neighborhood dispute escalated into a fight, with combatants assailing one another with chairs and other furniture, police said.

One of the three responding Gloversville police officers — the entire available shift — was struck by a chair as up to 150 residents of the neighborhood emerged from their homes to observe what some described as a riot.

After quelling the initial disturbance and arresting three participants on minor charges, police were called back to the scene to restore order.

A short time later, violence erupted on Burr Street when a motorist stopped his vehicle, which had just been struck by an object thrown by people standing by the road.

The motorist was attacked by assailants carrying baseball bats and a steel shaft with a chain attached at one end, police said.

One participant in that clash was seriously injured and transported to Albany Medical Center. Details were not available Wednesday, but Gloversville Police Department Capt. James Lorenzoni said a felony assault charge is likely to be lodged.

After the first incident on Burr Street, fights resumed in the street and officers were called back at 8:30 p.m. and at 11:30 p.m.

Participants in the fights were observed carrying shovels, rocks, sticks and bats, police said.

Every available police unit in the area was summoned to assist Gloversville officers.

The investigation is continuing and additional arrests are anticipated, police said. Details may be available sometime today. Officers were engaged in a drug raid Wednesday and were not available to complete the investigation into the fights, officials said.

Lorenzoni said officers are not yet able to explain the outbreak of violence, but he said it appears to be attributable to “a spectrum of demographic issues” in the generally impoverished neighborhoods.

It was not clear Wednesday whether the fights on East Pine Street led to the violence on nearby Burr Street.

Categories: Schenectady County

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