Crowd on Saturday night before parade swells, leading to increased police presence; no serious crimes reported on strip over 2-day period
Dallas police officers reported 13 arrests for public intoxication on the Saturday night before and on the Sunday afternoon of the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade on Sept. 14.
Dallas Police Department Sgt. Keith Allen said seven arrests were made on Saturday night on the Cedar Springs Road entertainment strip, and six were made in the same area on Sunday. Only two crimes one vehicle burglary and one pickpocket were reported during the parade, he said.
Allen said the arrests on Saturday night were attributed to the increase of visitors to the entertainment strip because of the parade the next day. More officers were assigned to patrol the strip, he said.
“If you have more people you are going to have more people who aren’t responsible in the way they behave,” Allen said. “Overall, there was nothing outrageous or unexpected nothing that caused any drain on our resources.”
Two lesbians who got into a fight were among those arrested for public intoxication, according to visitors to the strip on Saturday night.
Allen said it is common for police to arrest people who are drinking and get into fights.
“If they’re out there in public involved in an altercation, we’ll arrest them for public intoxication just to quell that and give them a chance to regain their senses and go about their business eight hours later,” Allen said.
The increased numbers on the strip apparently also led to Havana’s cutting the Mr. Gay Dallas/Mr. Dallas Pride pageant in half to manage the crowd inside and outside of the club. Contestants competed in only two events, instead of the four planned ones.
The contestants were allowed to show club wear and swimsuits, but the talent and interview segments were cancelled.
David Bieberitz, who attended the event, said in an e-mail that the early end of the pageant had upset contestants and customers.
A long line reportedly had formed at the door, and police officers told the club management to take action to eliminate the crowd on the sidewalk.
“The promoter was in tears and didn’t know what to say,” Bieberitz said. “Contestants and paying customers for the pageant were upset for being gypped out of what should have been a great Pride weekend event.”
Bieberitz said that there was a big birthday bar under way in the club at the same time of the pageant, adding to the congestion.
Allen said it is common for police officers to instruct club managers to prevent customers from ganging up outside of the bars.
“That’s one of the things we work on with all off our clubs,” Allen said.
“You’ve got to have order maintenance at the door.”
Allen said this summer police have seen less trouble on the strip than in previous years.
“This summer for whatever reason has been much more mild than previous summers have been,” Allen said. “Offenses and arrests are way down.”
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 21, 2007