2 dozen arrested ahead of South Haven fireworks

Associated Press

South Haven — Police arrested at least two dozen people after officers and spectators who gathered for a fireworks display were pelted with bottles at a Lake Michigan beach in southwestern Michigan.

Police say a large crowd became violent and fights started Sunday before “Light up the Lake” on North Beach in South Haven. Officers including South Haven’s police chief were hit by bottles as police closed the beach, but none sought medical treatment.

Police Sgt. Kyle Griffith said Tuesday that at least two dozen people were arrested and says the police chief’s estimate of around 50 arrests was “realistic.” He says final numbers will be compiled this week and City Council will discuss any concerns Tuesday night.

Griffith says video from police body cameras and the public “totally justifies” the beach closure.

“The decision to close the North Beach was unfortunate, but necessary,” South Haven police said.

“It’s very unfortunate,” South Haven police Sgt. Pat Carlotto told WWMT-TV. “Our main concern is safety for everybody. We wanted people to come and enjoy the fireworks. This is one of the best shows on Lake Michigan, but our concern is for safety and it was just too unsafe to continue on North Beach.”