Police deployed horse patrols and tactical units on South Street late Saturday to prevent a repeat of the rowdy crowds that erupted into a melee the night before.
Officers patrolled near Fifth and South Streets, where crowds had gathered until 2 a.m. Saturday. During that confrontation, police arrested Derek Langone, 25, of Chicago, for allegedly shoving and punching an officer.
Others from the crowd dispersed, police said, but Langone fought them. Police used a Taser to stop him.
None of the officers was injured. Langone was being held on preliminary charges of aggravated assault.
South Street has been hit in the past by crowds of youths who organized so-called flash mobs by using text messages and the Internet.
As of 10 p.m. Saturday, police reported the area remained quiet.
First, you should know that the "late Saturday" in the first paragraph, and the "2 a.m. Saturday" in the second paragraph are referring to incidents that took place roughly 22 hours apart. You should also know that everything after the first paragraph refers to the incident in the second paragraph. So in an article called: "After South St. melee, a show of police might," we have twelve words about the show of might, and two of those words make the chronology of events virtually impossible to understand.
Here's a second article, reprinted in full, about the same incident, which, again, took place at 12:30 am late Saturday night/early Sunday morning:
Philadelphia police shut down 11 blocks of South Street between 1 and 2 a.m. Sunday after officers decided that large crowds, estimated as high as 20,000 people, were in danger of overwhelming the area.
Lt. Frank Vanore, a police department spokesman, said Saturday night's crowds apparently swelled because of the Greek Picnic, an event that draws members of African-American college fraternities and sororities to the city each year. He said local teenagers often flock to South Street on Saturday night after the gathering.
As police shut down South Street with the help of state police mounted officers, some of the local youth headed toward Broad Street, prompting reports of disturbances there, Vanore said Sunday.
He said those problems were relatively minor, with 15 arrests for summary offenses such as disorderly conduct and under-age drinking.
"The problems we have had nothing to do with the Greek Picnic events, and they never have," Vanore said. "The problem we have is that kids just kind of congregate on that night."
This is a short article, which doesn't answer the question of whether the crowds on South Street had something to do with the Greek Picnic two separate times. From what I can tell, the argument is that every year kids gather on South Street the night of the Picnic, but this has nothing to do with the Picnic. Whatever. So in addition to adding nothing to my understanding of events, I'd simply like to note that this didn't happen between 1 am and 2 am. I know this because I was actually at South Street when it happened! Here's what I tweeted at 12:16 am: "some shit is going down for real on south st. blocking ppl coming out of femi kuti (which was awesome) w horses making them go west at third[.]" And here's what I tweeted at 12:22 am: "horses and motorcycles walking/driving up the sidewalk to push ppl. horse ran over one dude. 100+ cops. fucking insane." Oh, and just for good measure, I tweeted this at 12:29 am: "oh and this was all for no discernable (sic) reason."
So, to sum this up: this event has now been reported confusingly and incorrectly by the Inquirer two separate times, by two separate people. (By "reported" I mean: "ask the police spokesman what happened, and don't make any effort to figure out what actually happened.") It happened an hour before the Inquirer said it did, and since everyone who was there couldn't figure out why it was happening, I'm going to challenge that there were 20,000 people anywhere close to the area.
Lastly, "some of the local youth headed toward Broad Street" after being forced there by mounted police and motorcycles. (a) I wonder what they mean by "local youth"?!?!?!?!?!??!?!! (b) I wonder how many people? Is this a paragraph about ten "local youth"? 100? 10,000?
If I wasn't on South Street Saturday, I'd still have no idea what happened there.