CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) – Cheektowaga Police arrested two teens, and removed dozens of others from Town Park on Harlem Road on the night of July 4.
As families gathered for the annual Independence Day fireworks display, groups of teenagers also started congregating in the park.
“The fireworks began, and it was apparent that most of these kids who were there had no interest in the fireworks; they were just there to argue and fight with each other,” Cheektowaga Police Assistant Chief James Speyer told News 4.
Several fights broke out amongst the teens, Speyer said, and police began removing them from the park.
“At one point, we recovered a gun off of a 13-year-old,” Speyer said. “It ended up being a pellet gun, but it looked very real. We thought it was a real gun at first.”
The 13-year-old, and a 16-year-old who also had a weapon, were arrested.
“The 16-year-old pulled a knife on our police officers,” Speyer said.
Officers from surrounding jurisdictions were called upon to help disperse the crowd, and keep an eye on those leaving Town Park on foot.
“As a matter of routine, when we have the Fourth of July fireworks, we ask Buffalo to be on-hand and watch the side streets as we escort the people out of the park at the end of the night,” Speyer explained. “Through years of experience, we know a lot of those kids are headed back toward the city line, so we have Buffalo stage a few of their cars over there. We did ask them to do that again this year. We also asked the State Police as well as the NFTA Police, who also responded.”
Police broke up multiple fights between the teenagers as they left the area, Speyer said. Cheektowaga Police also took eight reports of teens vandalizing cars.
“Either broken windows, dented, standing on cars and things like that,” he said.