He said he had looked into the matter and found that large-scale, pre-arranged fighting was taking place across the country. New Hampshire State Police are assisting Hampton, NH Police with additional police presence in the area.
“I started watching all over the country some of these things going on,” Hobbs continued. “Seattle. Miami. It’s not just Hampton. … This is the trend happening across the country.
And there were rumors of further unrest on the morning of June 4.
“We have received information regarding the potential of a large beach rally tonight,” Hampton Police said that morning on the department’s official Facebook page. “Our goal continues to maintain peace and order and you will see a strong police presence in the region. We have not received any information regarding the threats associated with this event, but we want you to know that we take this seriously and will strictly enforce our laws. “
That night, Hampton Police said via Facebook that they were “moving a large crowd out of the sand” and that nine arrests had been made.
The next night there were more problems.
“This evening, police dealt with a noisy and messy group drinking alcohol and throwing glass at police near the State Shell complex,” the department said shortly before 11 p.m. on June 5. 7 people were arrested during the dispersal, the majority for misconduct. We would like to thank our law enforcement partners for their continued support.
Hobbs insisted at Monday’s board meeting that “we’ll get over this” and said police expected a busy day in Hampton Beach before the May 26 violence because it was the first 90 degree day of the season.
“Yeah, we knew it was going to be busy,” Hobbs said. “Yes, we have had staff. We called on outside agencies. Obviously, it was a group of about 500 people ”involved in the fighting.
He said things were getting “a little out of control” and the police reacted strategically at the time.
“At this point, the goal wasn’t to go out and arrest as many people as possible,” Hobbs said. “Because it only reduces the number of officers we have, and it becomes a security issue.”
On the contrary, he said, the police hoped to “disperse” the group and avoid injury to clients and damage to property.
“We did it,” Hobbs said. “We did it … in collaboration with our partners and with the additional staff we had. So yeah, I know it wasn’t ideal, but we were able to [respond] … without anyone getting hurt.
Police dispersed hundreds of young people from the beach that day after fighting broke out, the Portsmouth Herald reported. Video clips showed fighters clashing in circles singing to spectators on the sand and the promenade, the newspaper said. Deputy Police Chief Alex Rino told the Herald that only one arrest had been made.
“Since then we have coordinated quite strongly with our partners” to increase the visibility of law enforcement on the beach, Hobbs said Monday. “We will continue these efforts so that we can focus on these issues and be visible, so that people can feel safe when they come to this community.”
A similar episode of violence was recently reported at White Horse Beach in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
In this case, a crowd of around 100 to 150 gathered at White Horse Beach in Plymouth on May 23 for what appeared to be a loosely organized boxing match, local police said. Punches are only legal in Massachusetts if they are sanctioned by the state athletic commission. No arrests were made at the scene.
A community member then spoke to police about a video posted on Instagram that showed two men wearing boxing gloves at the beach and one person appearing to be officiating their fight, officials said.
Material from earlier Globe stories has been used in this report.