Editor’s note: this article has been updated with a statement from Mayor Vic DeLuca:
The Maplewood police cleared between 150 to 200 people from DeHart Park in Maplewood after a responding to a report of a large fight at 5:52 p.m. on Sunday, May 21.
The Maplewood PD received assistance from six other agencies in clearing the park peacefully: the South Orange PD, Springfield PD, Union PD, Millburn PD, Irvington PD and Essex County Sheriff’s Office.
According to the police release about the incident (see full release below), the police monitored the groups leaving the park; subsequently, when a fight broke out in one group which had moved into Irvington, a 14-year-old Maplewood resident told police that he had been robbed in DeHart. Police then arrested a 19-year-old Newark resident for receiving stolen goods.
“At the conclusion of MayFest, more than 100 young people walked from Springfield Avenue to DeHart Park,” said Mayor Vic DeLuca. “I was driving by about 5:45pm and entered the park to observe. Most of the kids were hanging around in the playground. At some point there was an altercation among a few kids. It was about that time that the police arrived and began speaking to and disbursing the youth. At all times the police acted with professionalism and restraint and the youth followed the requests by the police. I left the park about 6:15pm and small groups of young people were also leaving.”
See the full release here: