Monday, June 27, 2011

Reports mixed on extent of unrest Sunday at Cleveland Heights street fair

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio -- About 40 Cleveland Heights police officers had to control a crowd of unruly teenagers in the last hour of the Coventry Street Arts Fair Sunday, an event hat closes Coventry Road every summer from Mayfield Road to Euclid Heights Boulevard.

There were no reports of injuries, but Cleveland Heights police were expected later today to release the number of arrests made Sunday.

About nine people were arrested in 2010 at the street fair.

The teens, who other kids said were from "all over the place -- Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, Shaker Heights -- were starting fights, screaming and throwing punches in the crowded streets, according to witnesses and shop owners.

Sarah Corcoran, 21, of Cleveland Heights, said she saw about 75 people run through the street, some yelling, just before the fair was scheduled to end at 6 p.m. Police showed up shortly after to clear the streets.

"It was a big commotion," said Shalai Melton, 15, of Garfield Heights.

"When somebody sees one person run, everybody runs," said Melton's 16-year-old friend, India Jackson.

Reactions to news coverage of the unrest has been mixed, with some eyewitnesses saying that the incidents were limited to a handful of teens over a short period of time, with others claiming it was a frightening scene.

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