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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Another fight erupts near stabbing scene

    A fight involving dozens of young people erupted Tuesday afternoon in the parking lot of a gas station just a block from where a male covered in blood was found inside a car late Saturday night after he had been stabbed during a series of chaotic fights that broke out in a neighborhood just east of Belleville.

    Authorities don’t know the stabbing victim’s name, age or how he was stabbed because he and other witnesses refused to cooperate with deputies, St. Clair County Sheriff’s Capt. Steve Johnson said.

    “”It was obvious he was highly intoxicated and refusing to cooperate,”” Johnson said.

    Deputies have a better idea what happened during Tuesday’s fight, which occurred between 3 and 3:30 p.m. in the parking lot of the BP gas station at the intersection of West Boulevard and Carlyle Avenue.

    Deputies were called to the scene after it was reported 50 people were fighting in the lot, Johnson said. What deputies found were two young females fighting and several other people who fled when they arrived.

    When a gas station clerk and a customer had attempted to break up the fight, several onlookers wouldn’t let them, Johnson said.

    “”Because they wanted the fight to continue,”” he said.

    One of the females involved in the fight fled, but the other was treated for minor injuries and taken to a hospital, Johnson said.

    Eight males and one female, ranging in ages between 16 and 20, were taken into custody and are under investigation for misdemeanor battery and felony mob action, Johnson said. Deputies were looking for the female who was involved in the fight and fled. They planned to make other arrests in connection with the fight.

    Dwayne Hawkins, who lives nearby in the 2700 block of West Boulevard, said he attempted to break up the fight. He said about 25 to 30 teenagers were attacking one female.

    “”They (were) jumping on this 14-year-old,”” Hawkins said. “”It was mob action, and I tried to break it up.””

    Hawkins said he helped identify the culprits for investigators.

    Investigators are not sure whether the fight Tuesday had any connection to the series of fights that occurred Saturday night on West Boulevard and in the adjacent Lincolnshire neighborhood.

    The stabbing victim, who had a large wound in his left forearm, was found in an apartment complex parking lot at 2601 West Boulevard by deputies who had been called about 11 p.m. to the Lincolnshire neighborhood to respond to multiple fights involving dozens of people, Johnson said.

    Deputies had been called an hour earlier to a party at 1443 Vicksburg Drive involving about 200 teenagers, Johnson said. No evidence of alcohol was found at the time, and an adult who lived at the property was told to supervise partygoers and keep them out of the middle of the street.

    When deputies were called to the neighborhood again about an hour later, they found large groups of people fighting and running through yards at different properties near the party, which was then dispersed.

    Johnson said the fights that followed involved teenagers who either attended the party or who attempted to attend the party. Deputies found large groups of teenagers in the Lincolnshire neighborhood, which is filled with single-family homes, and near the apartment complexes along West Boulevard, Bull Run Road and Brookshire Court.

    The BP gas station was also the scene of fights Saturday night.

    The stabbing victim was taken by ambulance to a hospital for treatment. An investigator is following up on the stabbing, but no new information was available Tuesday night, Johnson said.

    Deputies arrested and charged one individual Saturday night for misdemeanor obstruction of a peace officer, Johnson said.

    Johnson said only three deputies were on-duty Saturday night and weren’t able to investigate the stabbing further at the hospital because of the large number of fights that were happening in the area.

    Willie Singleton, of 2615 West Blvd., said he saw several of the fights Saturday night.

    “”It’s like a parade,”” he said. “”It’s those young kids.””

    He and his neighbors, who have children, said they were concerned about the youth violence and worried that something even more serious may happen.

    “”I think it’s a gang war out here,”” he said. “”It’s like they want a name for themselves.””

    “”I hope it gets better or I’ll be moving,”” said Kylee Orens, who lives in the 2600 block of West Boulevard.

    Hawkins said the youths in the neighborhood who have been causing the problems need a teen center or other outlet.

    “”They’re not giving those kids something to do,”” he said.

    Investigators weren’t sure whether the party was connected to a high school.

    No gas station employees said they saw the fight Tuesday, but employee Brandon Holmes said he was working Saturday night.

    “”It was a pretty interesting night,”” he said.

    Twice that night, two groups of youths came into the parking lot to talk “”smack,”” he said. The actual fights did not start until after the gas station closed at 11 p.m.

    Holmes echoed comments made by neighbors and Johnson in regard to the neighborhood youths.

    “”With the weather getting nicer, they are getting more and more ornery,”” Holmes said.

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