Long Beach Police increase boardwalk patrols after repeated fights amongst students

LONG BEACH, Long Island (WABC) -- Long Beach Police are increasing their patrols on the boardwalk and the beach after repeated weeks of fights among Long Beach High School students.

Eyewitness News Investigative Reporter Kristin Thorne obtained cell phone video that Long Beach Police are now reviewing which shows a large group of the students - both boys and girls - hitting and punching each other at 9 p.m. last Saturday on the boardwalk near Edwards Boulevard.

The video shows a boy collapsing on the boardwalk as other students kick him.
Long Beach Police Commissioner Ron Walsh said several Long Beach High School students got in a fight May 30 as well, also near Edwards Boulevard.

Walsh said the police department always increases its security measures as the summer goes on, but they are stepping it up earlier this year because of these incidents.

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He said more police officers will be patrolling the boardwalk and beaches on ATV's, cars and on foot. He said the increased patrols will be seven days a week with particular concentration on weekend nights.

Brian Braddish, owner of Riptides Restaurant on the boardwalk, said the fights and unruly young people have been affecting his business. He said he had to close early on Memorial Day weekend because of the chaos in and around the boardwalk.

"There wasn't one police officer to be seen," Braddish said.
Braddish said he's also had to deal with aggressive young people sitting at his restaurant tables without ordering food. He's had to call police several times.

The superintendent of the Long Beach School District is asking that parents speak to their children about not resorting to violence.

"Ensure that we teach them to solve problems in a way that we can all live together peacefully," Jennifer Gallagher said.

Walsh said detectives are working to identify the students in the cell phone video involved in the brawl from Saturday night and may press charges against them.

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