Brawl on the beach results in multiple arrests - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Brawl on the beach results in multiple arrests

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Daniel Werney (provided) Daniel Werney (provided)

FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCIV) -- Multiple officers with the Charleston County Sheriff's Office and the Folly Beach Police Department responded to a complaint of a rowdy crowd in the area of 10th street east on the beach Wednesday.

Folly Beach Public Safety Chief Brown called for an emergency response around 3 p.m. and requested that all units were needed because the crowd had become violent towards police.

Officials say upon arrival, Sergeant Gilreath observed a very large crowd screaming, yelling obscenities.

"We had about three to four thousand people in a 75 yard distance. So, it was highly compacted," said Chief of Public Safety Dennis Brown.

Brown says officers went through the crowd to detain someone for violating city policy by having glass on the beach when the suspect punched an officer.  At that point Brown says a crowd surrounded officers.

"We were able to get the person out and several other arrests were made," Brown said. "Once the incident had de-escalated, officers were assaulted with beer cans, bottles, wiffle ball bats.  We went back through the crowd and everyone had calmed down."

Five officers were injured and several more hit in the melee. One of them was a county deputy. Sgt. Gilreath tried to move in, and he was hit by beer cans and cups.

According to officials, Daniel Werney threw a beverage at Sgt Gilreath and resisted arrest, showing signs of intoxication.

Reports say three other civilians were arrested, including 19-year-old Michael Harvey who was chanting, pumping his fists and getting the crowd rowdy. He was placed in custody for disorderly conduct and inciting a riot.

Alex Presby, 20, was arrested on the same charges. A third man, Adam Shuster, was taken into custody for interfering with an arrest.

In total, officials say, seven arrests were made. Others arrested include Daniel Fernell, Stanley Coleman and James Restrepo.

Brown considers the incident an isolated event, and says it is unfortunate the two altercations on Folly this year have been publicized.

"Overall our season has been a lot less active so far as arrests and charges on the beach," Brown said. "We've found that most folks, for a large percentage, are abiding by our rules.  We've written less tickets this year."

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