Five arrested after unruly scene at Silver Beach on July 4th

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By: Krystal Vivian kvivian@953mnc.com

Five people were arrested and one person was injured after a large disturbance at Silver Beach in St. Joseph, Mich., on Saturday night, July 4.

A “large group of young people” began chanting “U-S-A!” as they gathered near the concession stand at about 9:30 p.m. Saturday, according to a news release from the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office and the Berrien County Parks Department. The people were throwing objects and pushing and shoving each other and several people began fighting with each other.

Videos of the incident posted on YouTube showed large crowds and lots of screaming. Several people on Facebook said that they were not part of the crowd but still got hit with bottles and beach balls.

The sheriff’s office and parks department had their usual July 4th staffing in place, but called in extra officers from the St. Joseph Department of Public Safety and other area police agencies when the crowd started getting unruly.

Officers arrived within eight minutes and the group was dispersed within 30 minutes, according to the news release.

Police were notified of one person who was injured, according to the news release, but the injury wasn’t clear

Two people were arrested for violation of a controlled substance, two people were arrested for disorderly conduct and one person was arrested for assault, according to the news release. Further details on those arrested were not immediately available.

News/Talk 95.3 MNC left a message with the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office about the incident.

This is the first time in 20 years that an incident like this happened during July 4th celebrations at Silver Beach, according to the news release.

During the day on Saturday, police patrolled the beach and told visitors with alcohol to either pour out the beverages or leave. Police didn’t make arrests for having alcohol on the beach because there are “far too many similar violations and an arrest for each would remove the officer from the park area to process or lodge those that are arrested,” according to the news release.