SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - On Monday, May 1, the South Orange Police Department released a statement about "Incidents in the Downtown on April 29."
The statement from South Orange police is as follows:
On April 29, 2017, between the hours of 8 p.m. and midnight, the South Orange Police Department became aware of an unusually large crowd of youths and young adults that began to gather and descend upon the downtown area. All officers available for duty were quickly dispatched to the affected area in an effort to maintain public safety and monitor the unusual occurrence. As this situation evolved, disturbances began to surface and some individuals in the crowd were observed by officers to be interfering with vehicular and pedestrian traffic; causing serious concerns of safety for all parties.
Due to the significant number of individuals, estimated to be approximately 300 to 400, and most on foot, the southbound section of Sloan St. from South Orange Ave. was closed at approximately 8:30 p.m. as a large contingent was gathering along Sloan St. and in the roadway; furthering safety concerns. As officers continued to monitor the situation pockets of disturbances involving disorderly conduct and physical altercations amongst the crowd began to surface. At that time, approximately 9:30 p.m., the surrounding police agencies from Maplewood, Orange and the Essex County Sheriffs were notified and responded to assist our agency in dispersing the crowd in a safe and orderly manner. By midnight the crowds were substantially diminished and the threat of any further incidents had dissipated.
During the event two individuals, Paris Armwood, a 20 year old Newark resident, and Qaadir Mayewillis, a 20 year old East Orange resident, were arrested for disorderly conduct as a result of physical altercations. A 15 year old South Orange resident was physically assaulted during the incident and received injuries to his face and mouth and a 15 year old Maplewood resident stated that she was struck and kicked by two male actors during that time period.
There were no reports of any weapons observed or used by any individuals during any incident. The South Orange Detective Bureau is actively investigating the reported incidents in an effort to hold accountable any individuals determined to be responsible for said incidents. At this time, the Police Department will continue to increase its presence in the downtown area as the warmer days and evenings approach; including assigning officers to additional foot patrols in the immediate area. South Orange continues to welcome all people to enjoy everything our Village has to offer, but expects all visitors to conduct themselves with civility and without impacting public safety or intruding on the ability of other people to similarly enjoy our Village.
Individuals having information regarding any incidents occurring during this event are encouraged to contact Detective Lieutenant Brian McGuire at (973) 763-3000 x.7788.