CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) – Police in Cheektowaga are crediting one of their police captains for stopping a dangerous brawl before it got even worse.
A massive brawl broke out at the Walden Galleria Wednesday afternoon which was stopped before any serious injury, although one person was carried out on a stretcher with lacerations to the head. It was all caught on tape when a man pulled out his phone and started recording.
Billy Ali said what followed was a scary incident. He filmed the entire event unfold, from two men fistfighting outside of Dick’s Sporting Goods and the violence coming to a dangerous end inside Park Avenue Coat Company.
VIDEO | View the full, uncut video here.
Police broke up the fight not too long after it began. They say when their officer arrived on the scene it only took about a minute to break up. Mall security alerted Cheektowaga police to the violence as soon as it started, but they aren’t allowed to physically engage customers.
When Captain Michael Sliwinski got to the scene he utilized his pepper spray to end the violence. Each person below was charged with disorderly conduct and arrested.
- 20-year-old Charles Kelly
- 22-year-old Isaiah Sanders
- 22-year-old Isaiah Dunston
- 21-year-old Devon Skipper
- 24-year-old Ashley Skipper
- 22-year-old Samuel Cornish
- 22-year-old Delicia Jenifer
Police say the fight originally started when a group of people happened across another group which they say had something to do with the murder of a family member. Cheektowaga Police Chief David Zack said it was a Buffalo homicide.
“Family members of the deceased came across quite randomly, people that they felt might have had something to do with that homicide,” he said. “Words were exchanged and words turned into punches, and things got out of control.”
Zack said there were no major injuries at the event, and the legal matter will eventually be sorted out thanks to officer Sliwinski.
“Single-handedly put a stop to what was clearly an out of control situation, and just the professionalism exhibited by Captain Sliwinski really, really made me proud,” Zack said.
Sliwinski explained what went through his head when he started addressing what he said were four separate brawls all connected to the same incident.
“When you go up there and you’re alone you immediately start assessing the situation and you start looking for weapons. You try to see what’s going on,” Sliwinski said. “What I saw, it looked like hand to hand combat at that time, but there’s always that threat that somebody does have a weapon, be it a knife or anything else on them, but you just don’t see it at that time. So you just take immediate action as quick as you can. It’s a dangerous job and sometimes that’s what we get paid to do.”
Cheektowaga police ended the second big brawl in three months. Walden Galleria representatives released a statement saying they take the security of their customers seriously, and commended Cheektowaga police.