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Chief: 'We know who you are' in Greektown brawl

George Hunter, and James David Dickson
DetroitNews
Detroit Police Chief James Craig said the trend of people recording violence instead of calling police is "totally unacceptable."

After a Greektown street fight was broadcast on Facebook Live, Detroit Police Chief James Craig warned the participants in the scuffle that left one man in serious c

ondition: "We know who you are, so turn yourselves in and we'll work with you."

"This is totally an unacceptable situation," Craig added.

Craig said Detroit police have still photos of the men involved, and are working back on identifying their vehicles; all three of which were captured by security footage at the Greektown Casino parking structure. Those photos, police say, are expected to be released Monday.

"We have images of the vehicles, but also license plate numbers," Craig said. "In a matter of hours, we will have (the suspects') identification."

Two of the three vehicles are registered outside of Detroit, one of them in Canton, and one is a rental, Craig said.

"It's not going to be difficult to identify you," Craig said in remarks addressed to the suspects.

The 51-second shaky video of Saturday’s fight begins by showing an apparently unconscious man lying on the sidewalk outside the Greektown Parking Garage at the corner of Monroe and St. Antoine. The camera then pans to a man pulling another man by the leg, while others jump in and begin kicking and beating him.

The 51-second shaky video of Saturday’s fight begins by showing an apparently unconscious man lying on the sidewalk outside the Greektown Parking Garage at the corner of Monroe and St. Antoine.

Two of the men then rush over to another man lying on the sidewalk and begin beating and kicking him amid shouts from onlookers. The camera sweeps left, showing a man knocking down another man with a punch; the victim falls next to the prone man who was in the video’s initial shot.

The second man is attacked for a few seconds before he’s able to get up. One man delivers a punch to the first man’s head before walking away.

Several people are seen on the video laughing as the men are beaten. Another group stands outside St. Mary’s Catholic Church watching the fight.

Finally, a man wearing a red vest waves his hands, gesturing in an apparent effort to stop the others from further beating the prone man.

Craig warned that people who film violent crimes and don't call 911 could face trouble of their own.

"If you think you're going to go (on) Facebook Live, if you think we don't have cameras all over Detroit ... we are going to identify you," Craig said.

Craig called the fight a "horrible situation," adding that "(participants) left that young man for dead."

The incident is the second videotaped fight within a week in Detroit that shows several people cheering instead of helping.

That trend, he said, is disturbing.

“We just had the situation last week (in Rouge Park, when two women were stabbed while others cheered and recorded cellphone video),” Craig said. “There was the case in Chicago recently, where a sexual assault was videotaped. It’s extremely troubling that people can video these crimes in progress for Facebook, but they can’t call the police.

“We’re not going to put up with this. People need to know: If you’re going to do this sort of thing, we will respond.”

In the Rouge Park incident, a 21-year-old woman was arrested and charged with assault with intent to murder, assault with intent to do great bodily harm, and felonious assault in connection with the alleged stabbing of a 30-year-old Detroit woman, whose injuries were not thought to be life-threatening.

After that stabbing, Detroit police increased patrols in nearby parks.

Detroit City Councilwoman Mary Sheffield, whose district includes the Greektown area where the brawl took place, urged anyone who may have information on the incident to come forward and speak to authorities.

In a statement, Sheffield said "the brutal and vicious attack in Greektown is both disturbing and upsetting. This type of violence can not be tolerated or glorified. The actions of a few continue to tarnish the image of our youth as a whole. I implore anyone who has any information to speak up."

ghunter@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2134

Twitter: @GeorgeHunter_DN