Beach mayor reviews weekend unrest

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by 13News

WVEC.com

Posted on April 28, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Updated Thursday, Apr 3 at 10:56 AM

VIRGINIA BEACH-- Va. Beach Mayor Will Sessoms met with the police chief Monday to discuss the weekend violence at the Oceanfront.

Sessoms said police found out about the Beach Weekend event a week before it happened. The promoters did not have to notify the city because the party was held on private property. He also said the event was larger than the city expected thanks to social media spreading the word.

 There were tens of thousands of people at the Oceanfront for College Beach Weekend

"It was just so crazy," said business owner Billy Baldwin. "We actually had a fight break out in front of my business at Sandbar that the crowd bused in and broke my front window. So that's a thousand dollars per window."

Baldwin said he closed his restaurant at 21st Street and Atlantic Ave. to new customers and those already inside were allowed to stay until it was safe to leave. 

In all, seven people were injured.

According to Virginia Beach Police spokeswoman MPO Grazia Moyers, a man was shot in the leg around 11:30 p.m. Saturday in the 2000 block of Atlantic Avenue. She said the victim was uncooperative with investigators.

A second shooting occurred around 3:00 a.m. Sunday in the 300 block of 33rd Street.  The victim said he was sitting in a vehicle when he heard a loud noise, saw a window was shattered and realized he had been shot in the chest.

Around 3:15 a.m., police say two people were arguing at 27th Street when one allegedly struck another in the face with a gun. The weapon went off, shooting the person in the face.  

Police say none of the victims appears to have life-threatening injuries.  

There are no known suspects and the investigations continue.  Police report that the victims gave limited details about their attackers, so investigators have little to go on.

Police are also investigating a stabbing and assaults.

Around midnight Saturday, suspects allegedly approached a man at 17th Street and Atlantic Avenue near the Dairy Queen and allegedly stabbed him in the back and neck. The victim says the stabbing was unprovoked and he didn't know the suspects. Police believe he'll recover from wounds to his back and neck.

Police say around 12:30 a.m., two people were arguing in the 2600 block of Atlantic Avenue when a man was cut on his face. Police classified the case as simple assault. 

Police reported another man was cut after somebody apparently threw a bottle around 1:30 a.m. in the 2500 block of Atlantic Avenue.  Police say a woman was also hit by a bottle.

Police believe the stabbing victims will recover.

Police say at 2:15 a.m., someone stole a man's cell phone in the 300 block of 17th Street.

Another robbery occurred at 2:56 a.m. in the 3100 block of Atlantic Avenue.

Then, at 3:05 a.m., a man sitting in his vehicle at 22nd Street and Atlantic Avenue was robbed when armed suspects got into his vehicle and demanded property, according to police.

Moyers also says around 11:30 p.m. a man was robbed at 21st Street and Pacific Avenue near McDonald's.  Moyer says the victim was approached by several suspects and the victim displayed a gun, which fell to ground and broke apart.  The suspect assaulted the victim and picked up pieces of the gun.  The crime is being classified as a simple assault and larceny, not a robbery, she stated.

Mayor Sessoms said there were roughly 30,000 to 40,000 people at the Oceanfront.

"When alcohol, drugs and guns come together, it's never a good mix and just one stabbing or shooting is unacceptable. However, I'm pleased with how law enforcement handled it and I expect some arrests soon," said Sessoms.

Heavy congestion led authorities to shut down I-264 eastbound at Parks Avenue from 1:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m.

"The police had a strong presence. I think that it has been reported that there wasn't a strong presence, which is wrong. Last night, we had a strong presence, and the city manager and the police chief were out there," Sessoms stated.

Councilman Bill DeSteph will conduct a town hall meeting on Wednesday from 7 until 9 p.m. at the Virginia Beach Convention Center to discuss the events that led to three shootings, three stabbings and the robbery reports.

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