Scituate police break up July 4th beach party
SCITUATE, Mass. (WHDH) -- Police arrested several people and used heavy equipment to break up a pile of wooden pallets at a beach party in Scituate Tuesday night. Police say the beach-goers were violating the town’s ban on bonfires, but witnesses say they were doing nothing wrong.
The families were celebrating on the beach, the Boston Pops blaring in the background. It was all caught on camera in what witnesses describe as an annual third of July celebration turned unforgettable.
“All of a sudden police cars, trucks, they're all flying in here,” said Janette Langlois, who saw it all happen.
Langlois said officers pulled the plug on her patriotic music and started digging up her wooden pallets. She says she was displaying them in protest of a controversial ban on Humarock's annual beach bonfires.
“No fire. We had absolutely no fire with those pallets.”
Langlois said when police turned up with a front end loader to take away the pallets - they set off a chain of chaos that rippled down the beach.
“I stood up to stop the loader from coming closer 'cause my grandkids were there,” said Michael Joyce who was arrested.
Joyce said he was trying to protect his family when he was arrested. Police said he was part of an unruly mob of nearly a hundred people who were trying to block the front end loader from the beach Tuesday night.
“They said well we'll have to arrest you, I said well if that's the case arrest me,” said Jack Kwesell
Kwesell was also arrested on the beach. He said he was arrested because he refused to put out what he said was a legal cooking fire. The pair of grandfathers who left the party in handcuffs insisted there were no bonfires on the beach that night. They said police put their families in danger for no good reason.
“The kids were toasting marshmallows,” said Kwesell.
The controversial ban was enacted after a fast moving fire took down four houses on the beach last March. The policy is expected to continue next year.