Thursday night fights close Kennedy Park


LEWISTON — Police swept through Kennedy Park on Thursday night, closing it down after a series of fights that spilled onto nearby streets.

At least two people were arrested as police tried to control large groups of people who continued to fight as they were moved out of the park.

At about 7:30 p.m., all available officers were sent to the park after a group of women, one of them in a wheelchair, were reported to be brawling as part of a confrontation that had started earlier in the day.

Police said that fight was the fourth reported since Thursday afternoon. 

“They’ve been going at it like crazy out here,” said one woman, who was in the park when police closed it down. “You should have seen how many people there were before the cops got here. Everybody was yelling and screaming and all of that.”

Well over a hundred people were shooed from the park, including a few families who were not involved in the fights. As they left the park, several women continued yelling at each other while boyfriends attempted to keep them apart.

Once the park was cleared, officers were sent to the corner of Walnut and Blake streets, where another group of people was reported fighting. One of them, according to the first reports, was armed with a machete.

Police who responded to that brouhaha arrested a woman who refused to leave the area. She was loaded, kicking and screaming, into the back of a cruiser. A young man arrested in that fight was loaded into a different vehicle.

As police struggled to contain the mayhem, large groups continued to gather on side streets, watching the action or shouting encouragement to their friends.

It was not immediately clear what motivated the fights. One woman, who did not want to be named, said the fights involved a mix of races, although she wasn’t clear on whether the fights were racially motivated.

Last week, a pair of men who live on Nichols Street reported they were assaulted with rocks, mop handles and a skateboard as they attempted to cross through the park. Police are still investigating that incident.

No serious injuries were reported in the Thursday night fights.