Several hundred housing project residents of non-specified race attack firemen and police with bottle rockets

Sage McLaughlin writes:

Housing projects where firefighters responding to a fire are shot at with fireworks for the entertainment of the assembled crowd of savages.

The police chief complains that we expect different behavior “in a civilized society.” Well, that’s true enough, but just who in the hell does he think he’s talking to, or about?

Here’s the article, which by the way does not once mention the race of the people attacking the police and firemen:

Mob shoots fireworks at police, firefighters
July 05, 2010 5:14 PM

For The Telegraph

ALTON—First responders from the Alton Fire Department and five officers from the Alton Police Department were attacked by a crowd of several hundred people in the Oakwood Housing Complex who shot large bottle rockets at them. The incidents occurred late Sunday and early Monday in the 700 and 800 blocks of Oakwood.

“I’m so angry,” said Alton Police Chief David Hayes. “This type of conduct is not supposed to happen in civil society. This was obviously intended to be entertainment for the crowd.” [LA replies: “I’m so angry”? That’s a police chief speaking? Did he say it with a Truman Capote voice and stamp his foot as he said it?]

Hayes added that the crowd’s actions were “despicable and turn my stomach.”

The confrontations began at 10:20 p.m. and within the 40 minutes it took to resolve the first incident, police were attacked three times. It started when a firetruck was dispatched to extinguish a Dumpster fire in the 700 block of Oakwood and was immediately attacked by the crowd shooting and throwing fireworks at them.

According to two police reports, Patrolman First Class Walter Wetzstein and several other officers already were on their way to the scene because of the “large amounts of fireworks being set off at that location.” Both reports stated that in the past, fires have been set to “lure the fire department out so they could be attacked by fireworks.”

When officers arrived, they too were attacked “by the mob” with bottle rockets thrown from behind buildings. Police responded with pepper-ball guns and at one point pursued attackers in an attempt to restore order. Officers left when firefighters were able to extinguish the Dumpster fire but quickly returned to the housing complex because of reports of people shot or injured in the 800 block of Oakwood. Police did not find anyone injured but again were attacked by fireworks and again deployed pepper-ball guns to prevent attacks.

Officers were attacked a third time in the 700 block of Oakwood when they responded to reports of a truck fire; that turned out to be a box on fire. Officers had to leave when their pepper-ball guns were out of ammunition.

At 12:29 a.m. July 5, police and fire personnel again were dispatched to the Oakwood Housing complex for a Dumpster fire in the 800 block of Oakwood. Officers were attacked with bottle rockets and again deployed pepper-ball guns. When the fire department put out the fire, police requested the Dumpster in the 900 block be soaked down in an attempt to prevent it from being set on fire. Officers left at that time to respond to other calls.

“The Fourth of July is always a very busy time for us because of fireworks. It’s unfortunate that resources were tied up for a couple of hours like this” when the rest of the city might have needed them, Hayes said.

The city has taken a more proactive approach this year in curtailing the private use of fireworks. The Telegraph printed a letter from Mayor Tom Hoechst stating that fireworks were illegal in Illinois. Individuals found to have them or be discharging them would receive a non-traffic citation and would have to appear before a judge and ordered to pay a fine. If they failed to do so, a warrant would be issued for their arrest.

“The sad reality is there were likely a number of adults who participated or were spectators. They’re just showing their kids ‘this is the way we have fun on the Fourth of July.’ It speaks to the poor parenting skills they have,” Hayes said.

The police are reviewing videotapes to see how they can follow up with charges.

“If nothing else, we can identify the residences people were going in and out of and talk to them,” Hayes said.

Hayes said he spoke with management of Alton’s Housing Authority and they “share in our horror.” He said the two departments will work together to prevent problems next year.

Andy Hightower, the Alton Housing Authority’s manager, did not return a reporter’s call Monday afternoon.

“This is as aggressive as I can remember an attack (of fire department personnel),” Assistant Fire Chief Tom Chappell said. “It’s a bad situation when people who are sworn to help get attacked.”

“It’s disheartening and I support Chief Hayes’ investigation into this 100 percent,” Alton Fire Chief Greg Bock said.

Bock said first responders are unable to help others in an unsafe environment. He did not recall similar incidents last year but did say he has been to “dozens of incidents that involved grass fires, brush fires, EMT calls, all associated with private use of fireworks. What goes up has to come down and that creates a hazard not only for spectators but also the first responders.”

The pumper truck received “no real damage” from the fireworks and a bottle rocket put a dent in one squad car. The report did not mention injuries to city personnel but one officer was sent to Alton Memorial Hospital to speak with a juvenile and her mother who claimed the girl was struck by a pepper-ball.

- end of initial entry -

LA writes:

On a side issue, while the article says the event took place in “Alton,” it’s not readily apparent from the article where this Alton is located. The website is identified as “The Telegraph,” which makes one think of the Telegraph of London. But the website obviously doesn’t look like the Telegraph of London and the language in the article, particularly the names and titles, do not sound British. The reference to fireworks makes on think of July 4th, but the story does not mention July 4th until further down in the article and I didn’t immediately see it. In any case, which Alton was this? So I looked up Alton at Wikipedia and found that there are five cities named Alton in Canada, one in New Zealand, about five in Britain, and about twenty in the U.S. I saw a link for “Contact us,” and clicked on that, and found out that The Telegraph is in Alton, Illinois. Even if one assumed that this story took place in the U.S., there was no way to know which of the 20 Altons in the U.S. it took place in.

The problem—which I run into repeatedly—is that most websites of newspapers do not clearly identify the name and location of the newspaper of which they are the website. The designers of these sites seem to assume that the only people reading the website will be local people who know what the website is.

Leanard D. writes:

The story mentions Illinois. Alton IL is evidently a suburb of St. Louis. Here’s something amusing: type “800 Oakwood, Alton, IL” into google maps, and what’s the first thing you notice on the map?

Rick U. writes:

From the “About Us” section of the Telegraph Newspaper …

About Our Newspaper

The Telegraph, founded on Jan. 17, 1836, is a daily newspaper that covers an area spanning five counties in Illinois—Madison, Jersey, Calhoun, Macoupin and Greene

Here is the demographics of the town of Alton, Il. from Wikipedia. Pretty clear from the demographic that it was mostly blacks since they are the only significant population besides whites. Also, in a brief reading of the comments the perpetrators are described as “animals” rather than a species of human animal, namely “black animals.” Several of the comments are removed for violating the rules of the newspaper. Can there be any doubt that some of the removed comments correctly identified the race of the “mob”?

The fact that this incident occurred on Independence Day, apparently for “entertainment” purposes of the crowd, perfectly illustrates the pathology of inner-city liberalism.

James N. writes:

“there was no way to know which of the 20 Altons in the U.S. it took place in”

Pretty safe bet it wasn’t Alton, NH: (Wikipedia) As of the census of 2000, there were 4,502 people, 1,825 households, and 1,295 families residing in the town. The population density was 71.3 people per square mile. There were 3,522 housing units at an average density of 55.8/sq mi. The racial makeup of the town was 98.76 percent White, 0.07 percent African American, 0.33 percent Native American, 0.29 percent Asian, 0.04 percent Pacific Islander, 0.07 percent from other races, and 0.44 percent from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.53 percent of the population.

LA writes:

Here is a note I sent to The Telegraph via their website:

Your website does not identify the location of the newspaper of which it is the website. Someone sent me your article about an anti-police riot in Alton. But I couldn’t tell where this Alton was. Was it in Britain, the U.S., Australia, Canada? And if the U.S., which state in the U.S.? Wikipedia says there are 20 towns named Alton in the U.S. The only way I could find out was to click on “Contact Us,” where I found your addresses in Alton, Illinois.

Not everyone who reads your paper comes from the area of Alton, Illinois. They do not automatically understand that this is the Telegraph of Alton, Illinois. It is indispensable that on your webpage you clearly identify the city and state of the paper, so that readers from other parts of the U.S. and the world would not have to wonder which “Telegraph” this is, and which “Alton” is being spoken of.

Thank you.

Mark Jaws writes:

Well, I think it is safe to say that the bottle throwers were non-whites, given the fact that in 2000 the demographic data of Alton, a St. Louis suburb in Illinois, and former home to Phyllis Schlafly, indicated a population that was 15.1% Black and 12.3% Hispanic. No doubt those minority numbers have gone up since then, since we all know that integration is defined as the time between the first black or mestizo moving in and the last white moving out. Furthermore, this event occurred in a “housing complex,” which IMHO ought to be bulldozed a la Israeli style.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 07, 2010 10:49 AM | Send

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