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Natchez police investigating fights that sent teen to hospital

NATCHEZ — A Saturday fight near the Natchez Mall between a large group of teens hospitalized one 15-year-old, law enforcement officials said.

Natchez Police Chief Walter Armstrong said police are investigating at least two fights among large groups of teens that occurred between the Saturday incident and Tuesday night and no arrests had been made as of Wednesday afternoon.

Armstrong said a fight near the Natchez Mall on Saturday likely involved between six and 10 teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17.

The 15-year-old was been treated in a Jackson hospital for an eye injury, Armstrong said, adding he did not know the full extent of the teen’s injuries as of Wednesday but believed they were non-life-threatening.

Armstrong said investigators have also recovered a cell-phone video that shows another fight that may have taken place between Saturday and Wednesday evening near the Gray Stone Place apartments just off of D’Evereux Drive on South Concord Avenue.

Police responded to at least two calls regarding fights at the apartments, one Tuesday evening and another Wednesday, Armstrong said.

However, no one on the scene would acknowledge that fighting occurred when police arrived in both instances, he said.

“We believe it to be some of the same children who were involved with the fight that took place on Saturday,” Armstrong said. “… This is an ongoing investigation and we’re collecting evidence from those persons who have first-hand knowledge of what happened. We are asking those who saw the incident and haven’t come forward to do so. … We are running down leads in hopes of bringing closure to this situation.”

Armstrong said investigators learned that a dispute had been going on between the teens for a while before any physical altercations took place.

“Family and parents need to get involved in their youths’ lives before someone gets hurt or killed,” Armstrong said. “We see that much too often. … I’m very concerned about the safety of these kids and with protecting them from themselves.”