SEATTLE — After multiple fights and three arrests, Alki Beach was shut down early Saturday night.
Police said an “unusually large crowd” was at the beach as the department was made aware of social media posts about a large gathering that was scheduled for the evening.
KIRO 7 found out that an unofficial event was inspired, at least in part by TikTok.
Officials said they staffed accordingly based on the number of people who have attended similar events in other cities across the U.S.
What started out as a peaceful and calm day at the beach later became chaotic into the evening, as it was the first time people were able to party during the pandemic.
By 7 p.m., a large group was playing loud music near Marine Avenue Southwest and Alki Avenue Southwest, and between 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., police said they broke up a fight. All the people involved refused medical attention and declined to answer any questions.
Police said they also took a report about a strong-arm robbery and assisted an 18-year-old who appeared to be “highly intoxicated” and was in and out of consciousness; however, there were no reports of anyone being seriously injured or hurt.
And at about 8:10 p.m., officers who were near 60th Avenue Southwest and Alki Southwest were flagged down about a man who was pacing in a parking lot with a gun in his hand, officials said.
Officers found out that the man had brandished the gun, which was seized as the man appeared to be drunk.
At around 9:30 p.m., officers said there was another fight and two men were arrested. During the fight, an officer who was helping to break it up thumb was broken. No assault charges were sought.
Police also arrested a woman for what they said was a minor assault on an officer.
Beachgoers were told by officers at 9:30 p.m. to put out the bonfires.
At about 10 p.m., officers began shutting down Alki Beach. They asked people to leave because Seattle Parks closed it down due to ongoing public safety issues such as fights, fires and robberies.
While people were leaving, a woman reported to police she had been pepper-sprayed near 59th Avenue Southwest and Alki Avenue Southwest; however, she did not make a report or get medical attention, according to police.
Police said several bottles were thrown at officers and that fireworks were lit within the crowd.
Although the authorities closed the beach, people continued to party and push back at one point.
A woman was also seen dancing on top of a police cruiser with people cheering her on.
KIRO 7 saw officers go street to street, pushing people out of the area.
“We ask that you go back to your vehicles and clear the area. We appreciate your cooperation. Thank you very much,” an officer said over a speaker.
Gradually those efforts worked, with hundreds of people scattering through the streets, moving out of the area.
Authorities said the crowd left the area by 11 p.m.
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