UPDATED: Monday, July 9, 2012 - 10:19am
Waco — A riot broke out Wednesday night following the Waco downtown fireworks show.
According to a Waco Police Department spokesman, at around 11 p.m., a large crowd of about 300-400 people on the east side of the river moved from the Suspension Bridge into the Elm Street area, then started throwing fireworks and blocking the road.
Officers tried to give them time and space to disburse, but the crowd would not leave. Eventually, police moved into the area, and that’s when the crowd became hostile towards officers. One officer was attacked by a woman, later identified as Ashley Nicole Richards, while trying to get people out of the road. She is charged with assault on a peace officer and resisting arrest.
The riot became more fierce and people in the crowd started throwing rocks at officers and their vehicles. One officer was hit by a rock and received minor injuries. Crowd members were also throwing large explosive fireworks as hand-grenades. The fireworks being thrown were a large aerial type ordinance that explode with a big flash and flame.
Authorities used an armored vehicle in an attempt to clear the streets and disperse the crowd. It was at that point the crowd started pelting the armored vehicle with bricks and large pieces of concrete. Policemen on scene resorted to the use of chemical munitions to break apart the crowd. It took numerous officers about an hour and a half to get things under control and for traffic to resume.
Two officers received minor injuries and no others were hurt.