Video of park fight put online
Women’s brawl filmed in Nicolet under investigation, police say
A fight that broke out at a county park in Lexington Park featuring women carrying baseball bats on Sunday was broadcast live on social media, prompting an investigation by the St. Mary’s sheriff’s office.
The two women actively fighting in the video at Nicolet Park have not been identified at this time, nor have the females who were carrying bats, Capt. David Yingling, commander of the patrol division, wrote in an email Wednesday.
Yingling said in a phone call Thursday the sheriff’s office and the St. Mary’s County Department of Recreation and Parks have a close partnership and regularly discuss issues including fishing and crabbing violations at county parks, as well as other incidents that happen.
Those areas “are something we monitor because the community goes there to spend time with their families,” he said. “Obviously what happened was not a wholesome family event. Some of the first calls we received about it were from” county employees
at the parks, and about five minutes later deputies responded to the scene and “the people scattered and nobody wanted to say anything to us,” Yingling said.
“The case is an open and active investigation assigned to Deputy Shawn Bowie of the patrol division,” he said. “When the investigation is complete and the circumstances surrounding the incident are known” charges could be filed, Yingling said.
He said his division is work- ing with other partners such as the department of parole and probation to identify community members in the video. “If we can’t identify everyone in the video, you’ll see still shots sent out” for the community to identify, Yingling said.
Yingling said while they cannot confirm at this time how large the audience was as featured in the video, he said approximately 100 or fewer people were seen in the video. He said the sheriff’s office is considering that people may have been there initially to enjoy the park and not for the fight.
No emergency medical ser- vices were called to the scene, but it is unknown if the two women fighting in the video needed medical attention, he said.
“It didn’t appear in the video the baseball bats were used in the fight,” Yingling said. There was no apparent property damage caused by the baseball bats captured in the video, he said.
Arthur Shepherd, director of the St. Mary’s County Department of Recreation and Parks, said he had not personally watched the fight video, but was aware of the incident.
Nicolet Park, located next to the Patuxent Park neighbor- hood, “is an active park and it’s a safe place to be,” Shepherd said. “We consider it as a very safe place.”
The fight “had nothing to do programmatically with our staff,” he said. “It was a group that decided to carry out their conflict” at the park.
“That was an anomaly. You don’t see that often,” he said. “They just dropped in.”
Nicolet Park has a playground, spray ground, skate park and basketball courts and staff are on hand there. Shepherd said he uses the park, too.
“We would consider that a safe place to be,” he said.
The department of recreation and parks is not aware of any other property damage or assaults there recently, he said.
A new entrance for Nicolet Park is under design to come out on FDR Boulevard and the design is about 90 percent complete, Shepherd said.
Tips about this incident and others can be submitted through Crime Solvers at 301475-3333. Deputy Bowie can be reached at 301-475-4200, ext. 8066, and the duty officer at the sheriff’s office can be contacted at 301-475-4040.