Residents speak out about local Riot

POSTED: Sunday, February 6, 2011 - 2:13pm
UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 9:54am

WACO -- A riot in Waco Saturday night left police no choice but to use tear gas to disperse the crowd.

It happened around 11 pm when a peaceful neighborhood turned into a prime location for a violent riot.

It happened at the family YMCA on Harvey Dr.

People in the community say they can't believe it happened so close to home.\

"I was shocked. Normally this is a quiet, peaceful, neighborhood, all family. We have The Y across the street just a block away, and a lot of people go there, have fun with their children," said Larry Abner who lives down the street from the YMCA.

Officers arrived to find more than 150 adults and teens refusing to leave.

Police say the crowd started throwing rocks and bottles at the officers and say they kept ordering everyone to leave over the patrol car's P.A. system. The crowd wouldn't budge and continued throwing rocks and bottles at officers.

That's when police threw out canisters of smoke, but that didn't work.

The crowd simply moved to an adjacent parking lot, still chucking rocks and bottles at police.

At that point, police say they had no choice but to throw tear gas into the crowd.

People in the neighborhood say they can't believe the rioters took it as far as that.

"Rumor had it that a group left another location here in town and ended up over here at The Y. I understand alcohol was involved and adults, children. So, I really just don't know. I'm just in awe," said Abner.

The riot lasted an hour and a half. The tear gas is what finally stopped the crowd.

Police say they closed down a party at the Lions Den just before the riot, and it looks like some people from that party went to the YMCA.

No arrests were made, and police say no one reported any injuries.

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