MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Fist fights, two men maced, and a pair of cops hospitalized. It happened early Sunday morning on Beale Street. Memphis Police say officers were clearing the street but some guys refused to leave.
According to police reports, at 4:30 a.m. an officer told 34-year-old Myrus Williams and his wife they had to leave Beale Street when Williams' brother, 21-year-old Mario Bills, began yelling and punching the officer in the face. That is when 3 more cops tried to help break up the fight near Second Street. Police said Williams joined in the fight and charged a police officer from behind, trying to take his service weapon. Police maced and arrested the 2 brothers.
Bill Roberds manages "Dancin' Jimmy's" on Beale Street. His place stays open until 5 am on the weekend. He has seen some crazy things but never an officer being attacked.
"I'm always surprised to hear about somebody beating a cop who's trying to do their job,” Bill Roberds told abc24 news. “Seems kind of stupid to me but people are kind of stupid sometimes."
On the other hand, Beale Street musician Sam Wiggins wasn't surprised to hear about the officer being attacked.
"That's when the kids come out,” Wiggins said.
He's been playing music on Beale Street for more than 20 years and knows all about late night crowds.
"This environment produces that type of personality," stated Wiggins.
But Wiggins wonders if the brothers are really to blame for last night's fight. He says cops can be aggressive.
"There are two sides to everything,” he said.
The last time an officer was hurt in a Beale Street fight was October. Roberds says this gives the entertainment district a bad name.
“It's not good but when you think about the numbers and volume of people who are down here Saturday night and the drinking that goes on down… you don't want to hear about anything happening like that,” said Roberds.
Two officers, 35-year-old Kenneth Gibbs and 37-year-old Joseph Vale, were transported to The MED in non-critical condition, but have since been released. Two additional officers, 24-year-old Robert Forbert and 30-year-old Christopher Brown, were treated on the scene.
Mario Bills was charged with 3 counts of Simple Assault to wit Police Officer and Aggravated Assault to wit Police Officer. Myrus Williams was charged with 2 counts of Assault to wit Police Officer.