Police extend presence at Alaska PrideFest following altercation downtown
Alaskans have been celebrating the 2016 Alaska PrideFest in Anchorage for a week now, but the festivities were briefly interrupted Saturday by an altercation between festivalgoers and a group of protestors.
The protestors, alleging to be with Westboro Baptist Church, were congregated near the intersection of Ninth Avenue and F Street with a megaphone and signs throughout the day, according to police. At some point, “some pushing and shoving” began between about 20 people, including some of the protestors.
“There was also a giant cross the protest group had that others were trying to grab,” police spokeswoman Jennifer Castro said in an email to KTVA.
Multiple witnesses called 911, “afraid that the altercation was going to escalate,” police said in a statement.
The Anchorage Police Department had assigned officers to provide additional security during the Alaska Equality Parade because of the shootings at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, but the officers returned to their normal duties once the parade was over around 1 p.m. When the 911 calls came in after 1:20 p.m., police returned and stopped the altercation.
No one reported any injuries as a result of the fight, and neither group pressed charges. Police stated they would continue to have a presence at the downtown events until they conclude Saturday evening.
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