A police call to a St. Paul brawl Wednesday evening resulted in 21 arrests and five officers being hit with a chemical irritant designed for full grown bears, reports Kare 11.
Around 7:12 p.m. officers responded to a call about a large group gathered at Rose Avenue and Greenbrier Street. More than 50 teenagers were in the road blocking the intersection, watching a fight between two girls at the center of the crowd.
St. Paul and Metro Transit officers have been patrolling areas with higher crime rates and reports of large groups of juveniles and young adults. The team arrived on the scene via a Metro mobility bus, reports the Pioneer Press.
As the officers started getting off of the bus, people were screaming “12, 12” which is slang for “police” according to Steve Linders, a St. Paul police spokesman.
Bear pepper spray was discharged on the officers immediately upon their arrival. Two St. Paul officers and three Metro transit officers were hit with spray in the face and chest according to Linders. Linders told Kare 11 this made it difficult for the officers to breathe and see, and “put them in an extremely dangerous situation.”
The officers not affected by the bear pepper spray were able to detain a number of juveniles remaining at the scene, as well as some adults. A total of 21 individuals were arrested and booked into the Juvenile Detention Center reported Kare 11. Police used found cell phone footage to identify and arrest a number of those taken into custody.
As of Thursday afternoon the Ramsey County attorney’s office has charged three females with unlawful assembly – intent to disturb/threaten public peace, a misdemeanor charge, according to the Pioneer Press. Two of those charged is 16 years old and the other is 17 years old. All other juveniles had been released from custody. The St. Paul city attorney’s office was reviewing charges against two adults on Thursday.
Paramedics responded Wednesday night to assist in flushing out the officer’s eyes, according to Linders, reported the Pioneer Press.