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Police respond to large disturbance caught on camera

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Lafayette police responded to a large disturbance on S. 18th Street near Edgelea Elementary School Monday night. However, no report was filed because officers said the crowd scattered as they arrived.

In a cellphone video sent to 24-Hour News 8’s sister station WLFI-TV, the crowd appears to run away as sirens become louder and a police car appears. Lt. Brian Gossard said when it comes to incidents involving juveniles, that’s not uncommon.

“Even if it gets physical,” explained Gossard. “By the time somebody calls it in, and gives it to our dispatch, dispatch relays it to the officers – by the time they get there, the parties are gone and there’s no victim to tell us what happened.”

When it comes to these types of incidents, and really any incident at all, police said nowadays everything seems to be caught on camera as everybody seems to have a cellphone. Investigators call that a bit of a double-edged sword – sometimes only giving them part of the story.

But depending on what is captured, it can help them with extra evidence.

“People are able to, in real time, capture the action that’s happening even before our uniforms are able to arrive on scene,” said Gossard. “They can give us a quick video snapshot of what occurred.”

As for this particular video, Lafayette police said they don’t know whether anyone was injured because everybody ran away.

Gossard said he doesn’t believe large scale fights are increasing. He said as more people carry cellphones with capabilities to record video, it increases the chances to see these types of incidents.