SOUTH BEND -- City police said they tried several times Saturday night to break up a rowdy gathering of about 500 people in a city park as fights broke out, before officers arrested two people.
Police said officers arrived at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center Park on the 1300 block of West Linden Avenue and found a crowd of hundreds, with at least 10 different families barbecuing.
Parks Department police had asked the group to disseminate because they did not have a permit to have a large gathering in the park.
A large fight had just occurred, involving crowds of younger people at the party, police said, though witnesses did not cooperate with investigators.
But as people dispersed from the park, they stayed in the area, crowding neighborhood streets, and fights again broke out, police said.
Officers were called to the scene a second time.
Near the scene, police arrested a 26-year-old man who police said had packaged cocaine and marijuana in his possession.
A 55-year-old man was also arrested on charges of disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and rioting, after police said he tried to run from officers, yelling for people to stay in the park as officers tried to disperse them.
Staff writer Madeline Buckley: