CHARLOTTE — Nearly 50 people, including 17 who are under the age of 18, were arrested or cited after chaos broke out before a fireworks show in Uptown on July 4.
According to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, before the fireworks show began at Truist Field, a large group began to disrupt an otherwise peaceful event at Romare Bearden Park.
Police said 47 people were either arrested or cited. 17 were juveniles, the youngest of whom was 13 and oldest was 17.
CMPD officers seized four firearms in the process.
The charges against the suspects included the following:
Carrying a concealed weapon
Resisting a public officer
Assault on a government official
Possession of a firearm on city property
Possession of a pyrotechnic
Failure to disperse.
Police said they additionally charged the parent or guardian of 15 of the juveniles. They were charged by citation for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Police said though no one attending the Fourth of July event was hurt, two CMPD officers had minor injuries as a result.
CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings said the disruption appeared to have been planned. He said several people set off fireworks in the middle of the crowd. Several melees broke out, sending families running.
“That’s not who Charlotte is and that’s not who we represent,” Jennings said.
He warned parents they should be held accountable for their children’s behavior.
“You’re responsible for the behavior of your young children when you leave them unattended at an event like this,” Jennings said.