Police throw canisters of pepper-spray to subdue rowdy crowd at Galveston Mardi Gras


The Galveston police chief says 19 people are under arrest after the event Saturday night. It started after midnight when police were conducting their sweep at the close of the Mardi Gras celebration.

Police say near 22nd and the Strand, a group of people was taking the fencing from the line. Police then had bottles thrown at them and some in the crowd were being disruptive. That's when authorities used two canisters of pepper spray to get the crowd under control.

"This is a festive time. It's a joyous time. There are a lot of good things happening," said Chief Henry Porretto with the Galveston Police Department. "I mean everybody is in that kind of deal and for somebody to try to take over an event and inflict pain on anybody and disrupt other people's time, that just can't be tolerated."

Police say they were able to get the situation under control pretty quickly and no one was seriously hurt. The charges for those arrested range from public intoxication to interfering with police.

Chief Porretto says it looks like the crowds have been larger this year. It all comes to an end on Fat Tuesday.

Just last year, there were similar problems clearing the streets after Mardi Gras. As police tried to move in after the Grand Parade, a crowd put up a fight, hurling glass bottles and throwing the barricades. Seven people were arrested. Fortunately no one was hurt.

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