Police & Fire

'Large Fight' in Maplewood's DeHart Park on Sunday, Say Police


MAPLEWOOD, NJ - There was a large fight in DeHart Park (120 Burnett Ave.) on Sunday night, May 21, according to a statement issued on Monday by Captain Dawn Williams of the Maplewood Police Department.

One robbery was reported, and a teenager was taken into custody for receiving stolen property in relation to the robbery.

Police officers responded to a report of a large fight at about 5:52 p.m., according to Williams. A group of about 150 to 200 people, who police stated were "believed to be juveniles," were at the park when police arrived. 

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While officers worked to "prevent physical altercations" between people at the park, assistance was requested from other police departments to help disperse the group from the area, stated the release.

Mutual aid was provided by police departments from South Orange, Union, Irvington, Millburn, Springfield, and the Essex County Sheriff. With this help, officers were "subsequently able to clear the park," according to Williams.

The groups were monitored as they left the area, and a fight then took place in Irvington, near the Maplewood border, involving people who had just been removed from the park, according to the release. Working with officers from the other jurisdictions who were at the scene, Maplewood officers were able to "immediately break up the altercation."

As officers were "working to resolve the situation," a 14-year-old told officers that he had been robbed in DeHart park, according to the release. Police investigation resulted in a man, age 19, from Newark being taken into custody for receiving stolen property in relation to the reported robbery, stated the release.

No injuries were initially reported by the victim of the robbery, who later said that he was not feeling well, according to police. The victim was evaluated by the Maplewood Fire Department, and "the victim's mother refused further medical attention at that time," stated the release.

The incident is under investigation and there is no further information or comment regarding the incident at this time, stated Maplewood police.

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