HARRISON COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - Marshall police officers have arrested eight people in connection with several large and violent fights that have taken place within the town over the past two weeks, according to a Facebook post.
According to a post on the Marshall Police Department Facebook page, two groups were meeting in parking lots and other public places in large numbers and “engaging in fights and violent assaults.” MPD officers would respond to the fights and disperse the participants, who would often then allegedly meet in another location and start fighting again.
The Facebook post also stated that multiple drive-by shootings have been linked to the two groups. Those investigations are still ongoing, and several arrests have been made in those cases.
“Not all of these incidents were reported to the police, but most of them were video recorded and posted to social media,” the Facebook post stated. “Concerned citizens forwarded these videos to the Marshall Police Department, and detectives began working towards identifying the individuals who were involved. Detectives obtained arrest warrants for the individuals involved in the violent gatherings.”
The participants were charged with riot participation, according to the Harrison County Jail website.
Although the events that led to the arrests took place before the city and state emergency plans related to the CVOD-19 pandemic were implemented, the Facebook post stressed that any similar incidents that take place after the stay-at-home order went into effect will result in additional charges of “penalty for violation of the emergency management plan,” which is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by a $1,000 fin and/or 180 days in jail.
“These events have been a threat to public safety and were escalating in their levels of violence,” Marshall Police Chief Cliff Carruth said in the Facebook post. “The individuals participating showed no regard for the safety of themselves or the general public and resulted in the Marshall Police Department taking decisive action to restore order to our community. This type of violence will not be tolerated in our city, and we will continue to investigate these incidents with the goal of charging those endangering themselves, all of our citizens, and our officers by their intentional disregard for the law.”
Carruth added that the Marshall Police Department is grateful to the community members who brought the videos to their attention, so they were able to charge the people in the initial round of arrests.
So far, eight Marshall residents have been arrested and charged with riot participation. They include Tyra Valentine, 20, Deshunan Watson, 27, Talensia Worth, 25, Tylik Taylor, 21, Ashlee Manning, 26, Jamecia Okra, 22, Jiveon Gray, 24, and Iveon Gray, also 24. Jiveon Gray also had outstanding warrants for causing bodily injury to a family member and criminal trespass. Mug shots were not available for Taylor and Okra.
There is an outstanding arrest warrant for another person, according to the Facebook post.
“The Marshall Police Department will continue to enforce the emergency management plan to ensure the safety of all of our citizens,” the Facebook post stated. “We ask that everyone continue to do their part during this challenging time by maintaining social distance in public, washing hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes, and avoid touching your face.”