Wichita police clear 2 'unlawful assemblies' Tues. night, make at least 11 arrests
The Wichita Police Department Tuesday night cleared two gatherings it describes as "unlawful assemblies." The eventful evening began peacefully with a group gathering at about 7 p.m. at the intersection of 21st North and Maize Road.
Within the peaceful gathering, disturbances broke out and quickly escalated, leading to a physical fight in the street.
"As the crowd agitation continued to elevate, WPD began to clear the crowd, and bottles were thrown at officers," the department says.
Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay says most from this crowd gathered in northwest Wichita left the area calmly, but officers did arrest five people for remaining at an unlawful assembly. Two more were arrested on charges of reckless driving and obstruction.
From the scene at 21st and Maize Road, police learned of a gathering at 21st North and Arkansas, the site of a gathering that turned violent Monday night with two arrests and three officers injured.
"As officers monitored the situation, bottles and rocks were thrown at them," Ramsay says.
Police also heard random shots fired at locations around the gathering. As the crowd became more agitated, Ramsay says some began looting the Quik Trip near 21st and Arkansas and busted the windshield of a WPD patrol car.
"WPD began clearing the unlawful assembly. Random shots continued to occur from various locations around the protest, and one arrest was made for remaining at an unlawful assembly and obstruction," the department says.
As the night rolled on, Wichita police received reports of businesses being damaged in east Wichita. Officers arrested four people in connection with looting the Quik Trip near 21st and Arkansas, two adults and two juveniles.
Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple says at this time, the city is not implementing a curfew, but has discussed that possibility with Chief Ramsay.
The City of Wichita is hosting a press briefing at 3 p.m. at City Hall, 455 N. Main in the first-floor board room. Mayor Brandon Whipple will be joined by the Police Chief Gordon Ramsay and others to discuss last night’s destruction of property.
Across town from last night's demonstrations at K-96 and Greenwich, there was an attempt by looters to break into the Cabela's. Minimal damage was done to the outside.
A disturbance call was also made to the Dick's Sporting Good's on Rock Road around 3 a.m. Men associated with the store stood guard as carloads of people hung out in the parking lot. Police asked them to leave without incident.
A similar scene was found at the Kwik Shop at Kellogg and Oliver where family members of employees stood guard because they worried people might loot the store like was done earlier in the evening at Quik Trip on 21st and Arkansas
Businesses around 21st and Arkansas were broken into overnight after demonstrations turned violent and had to be broken up by police with tear gas.
Quik Trip was looted at that intersection and other businesses, including a Boost Mobile and O'Reilly Autoparts store.
According to the manager of Quik Trip, there was no major damage and no one was hurt.
Area Quik Trips are in the process of reopening.
Wichita Quik Trips closed overnight at the advice of the Wichita Police Department after a store at 21st and Arkansas was looted.
The intersection has been the site of mostly peaceful demonstrations the past two nights, but late Tuesday's protest became violent and had to be cleared out by police.
A spokesperson with Quik Trip said that no one was hurt and stores will open back up early this morning.
Police have asked QuikTrips in Wichita to close after the store at 21st and Arkansas was looted late Tuesday.
Video from a viewer shows people coming out of that QuikTrip, and damage inside the store.
There were also reports of break-ins at Towne East, but dispatchers tell us that was not the case and the area is now clear.
Dispatchers are asking people to avoid the area of 21st Street between Waco and Amidon as police work to clear the area.
Eyewitness News is monitoring the situation as it develops. Watch for updates as we get them on-air and online.