Wilmington, NC – Dozens of Police officers were called to 11th and Castle Streets a little after 4pm Monday in response to a fight in progress.
Arriving at the intersection, Wilmington PD Sergeant Duan Ford described what he called a "scary scene" -- the street completely packed with a shifting crowd of onlookers, gathered around the fighters.
Bystander Deanna Spicer said the violence would calm down for a few minutes, and then flare up again, "five seconds later: everyone moving to one section, then moving to another section."
After police closed off several blocks of Castle Street, the crowd began to disperse. Castle re-opened to traffic a half hour later.
Some onlookers blamed the violence on youth from rival neighborhoods, hanging out in the field behind Gregory Middle School after the day's official festivities.
Crystal Webb watched the fights from a nearby porch and said she was ashamed it happened on Martin Luther King's birthday.
"It's an embarrassment to me, to Black folks," Webb said. "If we don't get along any other day, today should be the day that we get along."
Ford said he'd heard about smaller fights along the parade route.