Downtown brawl caught on camera, not by police

Downtown brawl caught on camera, not by police »Play Video
A frame from the video of the fight

EUGENE, Ore. - When Alexandra Wild heard two young men arguing on the street in downtown, she grabbed her Flip Video camcorder, a pocket-sized video camera.

The video she recorded early Thursday morning shows the two males, who Wild said were 22 and 17 years old, cursing at one another before their argument became physical. The males begin punching, one over-powering the other, before a crowd of onlookers blocks the camera.

"I'm worried about that boy," said Wild, who is enrolled in a PhD program at the University of Oregon. She said the 17-year-old boy had blood coming out of his ears and likely had a concussion after the fight.

She is also upset that she could not get Eugene Police to respond.

Wild's husband, Michael Rodman, said he called emergency dispatch multiple times.

"We told them, John Henry's, Ninth Street. We didn't know the exact address," said Rodman.  "But I called them nine times."

Lt. Doug Mozan reviewed call logs and a police report taken early Thursday morning.

Mozan said the call logs show the dispatcher received multiple phone calls from that area but was not able to get much concrete information from the callers.

In one, the caller said there was an emergency at John Henry's, a bar, before hanging up. 

In another, the caller said a kid had been assaulted before hanging up.  Other calls were "pocket dials" - the dispatcher heard only ambient noise, as if the phone was dialed

When the dispatcher called back, said Mozan, no one answered.

Rodman said he was busy dealing with the injured teen and trying to follow the other man in the fight, so he was not able to stay on the line.

When asked why an officer was not dispatched to check out the area after receiving those calls, Mozan said, "That's a very reasonable assumption for a person that doesn't know what police response capabilities."

Mozan said EPD does not always have enough officers to send someone to check on an area unless there is enough concrete information.

Rodman and Wild said it took officers 18 minutes to respond.  By then, the injured teen had left the area and officers did not interview any witnesses.  Instead, they focused on another fight taking place across the street.     

"We explained the story, we had evidence, we had nine cop cars there, they were called there to deal with that situation," said Wild.  "But they're street kids, you know."

Mozan said responding officers focused on the other fight because it was happening while they were on scene.  In that fight, officers cited one person for disorderly conduct and arrested another person who had a warrant.

Mozan said he had not spoken with the officers who responded to the call, so he could not provide details about officers interaction with Wild and Rodman.

"You can show me video of a fight. If neither of the people are there, they can't do much because there's no report to take if there isn't a victim to a crime," he said.

"I wasn't there, but I'm going to state with certainty our officers take people's issues. They don't normally triage based on social standing," he added. "Or at least they shouldn't."