Four charged in early morning brawl

April 21, 2011|By DAN DEARTH and KATE S. ALEXANDER | and
  • A brawl early Thursday morning that sent three people to the hospital took place in a multi-block area, not far from the city police station, shown in background on right.
By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — Two Hagerstown teens have been charged as adults for their part in a brawl early Thursday morning that sent three people to the hospital and spilled through a multi-block area of downtown Hagerstown.

Dimitric Douglas Winston, 17, 325 Summit Ave., and Santez Merrell Thomas, 16, 133 W. Bethel St., were arrested and charged as adults with reckless endangerment and first- and second-degree assault, according to Hagerstown Police Department news release.  

Police said Winston was also charged with carrying a concealed weapon.

Winston was charged with allegedly stabbing Galen Scott Myers, age unknown, while Santez was charged with allegedly assaulting Thomas Joshua Alexander, 20, police said.  

Officers found Alexander bleeding from several cuts to his head in the 100 block of West Washington Street.
He was treated for non life-threatening injuries at Meritus Medical Center, police said. A hospital spokeswoman said Alexander was not listed as a patient at 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

Myers was found on the sidewalk in the first block of North Prospect street with a stab wound to his upper body.

He was listed in fair condition at Meritus Medical Center Thursday morning, but listed in critical but stable condition Thursday night, a hospital spokeswoman said.

A third person, Matthew Lee Lattin, 22, was found near the Washington County District Court building on West Antietam Street with injuries to his head, police said. He was treated at Meritus Medical Center and released.

Police have also charged two adults in connection with the brawl.

Jessica Marie Harvey, 30, and Anthony Michael Sellers, 26, both of 438 W. Franklin St., were charged with obstructing and hindering and resisting arrest, police said.

The early morning melee spanned a two-block square in the area of the Hagerstown Police Department. Police said they received a call at 12:30 a.m. for a fight involving groups of people wielding knives and bricks.

Police Chief Arthur Smith said the fight started in the 400 block of West Franklin Street, and the combatants worked their way south to the intersection of North Prospect and West Washington streets.

Smith said police arrived at the intersection and made two arrests to calm things down in the neighborhood, which includes Byers Stop-N-Go, a Roy Rogers restaurant and Liberty Tax Service.

Police later discovered that the people involved in the fight picked up items along the way, including rocks and a flag pole, to use as weapons.

“We didn’t find a real cooperative group,” Smith said. “We had to physically intervene to end it.”

Smith said officers had not determined what sparked the melee and said they did not know if it was gang related.

As for the fight, people typically don’t care where they are when tempers flare, and they start to throw punches, Smith said.

“I don’t think it has anything to do with being close to the police station,” Smith said. “They just got in a fight. They didn’t even stop fighting when (police) arrived .... It started two blocks away (from the police station), and it ended two blocks away. It could have been any place in town.”

And a crime’s proximity to the police station doesn’t necessarily lessen police response time.

Smith said the police department is busy all over the city and doesn’t have enough personnel to watch one specific area.

“We don’t wait at the police station and wait for a call,” Smith said. “We’re out on the street .... We have everybody on the street.”

Smith noted that crime in Hagerstown is lower than crime in Maryland cities with comparable populations.

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