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Despite brawl, crowds turn out for Jax Beach event

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Updated: 5/31/2013 11:13 pm

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. - Jacksonville Beach Police Chief Pat Dooley has promised to put more officers on the street following a series of fights that took place on Memorial Day.

Police say at least five brawls took place over a 43-minute period, starting in the dunes near The Jacksonville Beach Pier, and ending at the SeaWalk Pavilion.

Three men claim to be victims of the attack by six still-unidentified suspects.

The mother of Anthony Jones, 20, says her son now suffers from a dislocated shoulder.

The second victim, Cassius Long, 19, sustained a minor cut behind his ear and complained of headaches. Injuries to the third alleged victim, Gregory Anderson, 21, have not been released.

Cell phone video evidence shows Jones being kicked in the head, but does not show the alleged attacks to Long or Anderson.

The fights left many in the Jacksonville Beach community concerned about security at the Moonlight Movies event in Jacksonville Beach on Friday night. The event was discussed at a meeting organized by concerned neighbors and busienss owners Thursday. At the meeting, Police Chief Pat Dooley promised to have more officers on the street every weekend, starting with the film screening.

Their presence was obvious early on.

"I see a couple police officers on every corner," said Kevin Briscoe, who drove from the Westside for the screening. "I'm definitely thinking about what happened here, but I'm not scared. I'm still going to come, but I'm going to be more cautious about it."

So are Thomas and Marsha Lucas, two tourists that are a huge part of the Beaches economy.

"Bad things happen everywhere," she said, "People do stupid stuff and it's just a shame. But we'll continue to visit. It's a beautiful place, and it's a safe place for families."

Ronny Ford, who attended the meeting Thursday, says he feels positive about the developing plan to improve safety in the community. He hopes people coming to visit here, will take notice when the cross the bridge.

"We want them here. Come out. Respect the beach, but respect others around you."

There are 61 officers on the Jacksonville Beach police force. Dooley says more are always needed, but he believes he does have the staff to sustain increased patrols on the weekends throughout the coming months, especially at major events. On July 4, he will request assistance from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office as he has in the past.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

nativejax - 6/1/2013 5:07 PM
0 Votes
I am really beginning to 'like' your way of thinking whosaysnocan. Sometimes you amaze me. I guess we need to 'fly some colors' and get noticed, just to try to have some fun around here again.

whosaysnocan - 6/1/2013 10:20 AM
0 Votes
These so called "victims" are more than just that, at least that Jones kid. In the dunes video he can be seen as an attacker then there are the shots of him being beaten. Really? These kids were at the beach to cause trouble. The law is investigating possible gangs. Kind of obvious there is some thing about that mob mentality and it was not a group/groups of decent citizens. The investigators will be road blocked by the "code of honor" this particular community likes to use in their particular life style. We have not be to the local beaches in decades. Daytona is our choice. Would like to see how these thugs would be should there be a strong biker presence here.

Gunny48 - 6/1/2013 6:02 AM
0 Votes
Zero tolerance and plenty of police will drive the thugs back across the ditch. Back in the 60's you knew not to mess around in Jax Beach but it was a great place to have fun.
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