911 calls detail scope of park, downtown mayhem - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

911 calls detail scope of park, downtown mayhem

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Surveillance video detailed the confrontations at Bader's, a gas station and convenience store located at 1st and Jefferson. Surveillance video detailed the confrontations at Bader's, a gas station and convenience store located at 1st and Jefferson.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Bewildered bystanders, worried visitors and outraged victims.  
Released calls made to 911 detailed the frustrations of citizens and dispatchers alike regarding the violence in Waterfront Park that spilled into downtown March 22.

Two days after a mob of teenagers pounced upon her husband on the Big Four Bridge walkway at Waterfront Park, Jean Henry recalled their first reaction to the encounter.

"I asked people to please help us, to please call 911," she said.

Newly-released recordings of 911 calls confirmed at least four witnesses aided the Henry's that night. The first call came at 7:23 p.m. from a young woman begging officers to hurry to the scene before the attackers left.

"I mean there's a big group of 'em, they're all cheering," the woman told the dispatcher. "They're all excited about it." A minute later, she revealed Henry had "laid on the ground for a few minutes looking injured."

"There's a large group of people like, kicking this guy," another caller said. "The guy is just laying on the ground and they're just like stomping him."

Minutes later dispatchers would be taking calls from other victims.

"I just got jumped by about 10 guys," one man said. "Do you need an ambulance?" The dispatcher asked.

"They, uh, robbed me too," the man replied.

"There was a big group of people who just came up to us and like hit one of my friends and stole his wallet and his phone," a young woman reported. "I went over there twice to get them off of him and they punched me in the face and kicked me."

Groups of teenagers would move from Waterfront Park into downtown as officers responded to calls at the Big Four Bridge.

"There's like several hundred teenagers, messing with people at the traffic lights," reported a caller from the White Castle restaurant on Market Street. "Cussin (sic) at 'em, spittin' (sic) at em, running down the middle of the street."

Several teenage boys confronted a group of high school cheerleaders, who were in town for a convention and competition.

"Like earlier, they went to grab these girl's butts," one of the chaperones told 911. "The girls ran from ‘em, and they chased after them, and they came back and stood there again!"

The encounters would grow rougher, quickly.

"I'm bleeding everywhere," said a woman, detailing that several young people punched her during a confrontation at 1st and Liberty Streets.

"They threw a garbage can, at a car, and they like jumped on the hood, kicked the window in and everything," reported a man calling from 2nd and Liberty Streets. "I heard them screaming, they're gonna kill him. "There was like 5 kids fightin' this guy."

Dispatchers took a series of calls detailing confrontations on Chestnut Street. By then, police were tracking three reported assaults and two strong-arm robberies. The pattern? Teenagers, in groups ranging from five persons to more than two dozen.

"About how old (are they?)" a dispatcher asked one caller. "Fourteen," the woman responded, after describing them as youngsters.

"They're not children," the dispatcher answered the woman. "They're teenagers, old enough to know better."

It would grow much worse. Surveillance video detailed the confrontations at Bader's, a gas station and convenience store located at 1st and Jefferson. Clerks were shown blocking the front door to prevent teenagers from rushing the aisles to steal merchandise. At least one young man is shown grabbing candy and fleeing without paying.

Several calls detailed the crowd building there, but an expectant mother described a more chilling encounter at 15th and Chestnut Streets, near her home.

"They was in cars, they had broke in to ‘em," she told the dispatcher. "They turned on me! And I was like ‘no I got a gun,' and they was like-and they was trying for my gun, and I was like 'why y'all doin' this to me?'"

Ten injuries, 20 reported crimes and all most three weeks later, neither police nor community leaders have an irrefutable answer.

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