Source: Sherman Publications

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Police warn against organized fights

by Susan Bromley

April 27, 2011

Ortonville- Public fighting is not allowed in the village, or anywhere in Brandon Township, even among willing participants.

Oakland County Sheriff's Sgt. Pete Burkett, Brandon substation commander, said police have received three separate reports of kids organizing fights in public areas, including the Sherman Village Park located at the corner of Ball and Cedar streets, and in the parking lot of Hillside Bible Church, 173 Church St.

Up to 20-30 boys, believed to range in age from about 13- to 16-years-old, have been picking people who want to fight each other with boxing gloves, Burkett said, raising the potential for liability to municipalities if someone gets hurt.

"They can do boxing matches, but it has to be at a private residence, it can't be public property," said Burkett. "Boxing in itself is not a crime, but the fear is, these kids are not trained and not sized properly for their weight and ability."

The kids have dispersed by the time police have arrived in the previous incidents, but they are reportedly videotaping the fights. Anyone caught fighting on public property will be issued a citation for disorderly person. Any adult found organizing the fights will be charged with contributing to the delinquency of minors.

"We are concerned that some kids are being pressured to fight and could be hurt," Burkett said.

"If you want to box, there is a gym in Davison and different martial arts studios. It is potentially dangerous. You can not fight on public property whether it is mutual or not."