Street Fights Break Out in Local Town

Street Fights Break Out in Local Town
By: CJ Cassidy

CARUTHERSVILLE, Mo. - Officers in Caruthersville arrest three people as close to two hundred people gather to watch the violence unfold.
Police look for more people involved in three separate street fights Wednesday night.
It's a city that's no stranger to disaster after the tornado in 2006.  Now, folks in Caruthersville hope to clean up a section of town hurting from man-made problems.
Bob Smith works on houses that fell apart during the tornado two years ago and then suffered even more damage.
"After the tornado there was a lot of vandalism," Bob Smith said.
He sees a lot of similarities between the homes he fixes up and the people who live in neighborhoods that residents call the poorer part of Caruthersville.
Smith says they are problems that could be fixed easily enough with just a little bit of work.
"There's nothing for anybody to do.  I guess they have no choice but to do drugs and I guess that's what this fight stems from," he said.
The three fights attracted between 150 to 200 people each time and police say despite all those witnesses they still don't know exactly what caused the violence.
Chief Chris Riggs says the alleged fighters should have called police, not take the law into their own hands.
Beverly Taper saw some of it.
"There's so many people out here.  I'm talking about half of Caruthersville was out here.  There was beer bottles and sticks being thrown.  It's kind of scary," she said.
It could have been more serious, according to Lonnie Carter, another resident.
"There were flying bricks and bottles, and there were innocent people coming to the fight who should have been running away from the fight," he said.
Others like Antonio Truss say there's no lack of police patrolling the area.
He says the tornado wiped out a lot of people's property and left youngsters walking the streets looking for something to do.
"It's very frustrating.  Every weekend, there's unnecessary drama," Truss said.
"There's a lot of them are intelligent and they could be doing something better," Smith said.
Police say the drug problems in Caruthersville are no different to the problems in any other town.  However, they say it would help them a lot if people would cooperate when they witness a crime.