Downtown Melee Results in 5 Arrests
Night club fight erupts into City Streets
On August 13, 2017, at about 1 a.m., OPD officers were dispatched to the 400 block of Franklin Street because a large fight had erupted inside a local nightclub that then spilled into downtown streets. 911 callers also reported seeing a person in the disturbance carrying a gun.
Two Walking Patrol officers quickly arrived at the scene where they were confronted with a very large crowd in a frantic melee. Several physical fights were occurring while other people were screaming, cursing and threatening each other. The two officers immediately spotted a man carrying an assault rifle. The man chambered a round into the firearm as he walked into the mix of the large disturbance. Recognizing the urgent threat, Officers immediately ordered the man with the assault rifle to drop the firearm and get on the ground. The man complied with the Officers demands placing his firearm into the trunk of a nearby vehicle and then laying on the ground. As they detained the man, many in the crowd turned toward the officers and began verbally challenging them. The crowd grew, became more hostile and began encircling the two officers. To protect the man in their custody and themselves, the two officers deployed pepper spray at the group to stop them from harming anyone.
All on-duty Olympia Police Officers were called to the scene and began breaking up the unruly and hostile crowd. Orders to disperse were given multiple times by OPD but the crowd refused to leave. More physical fights and verbal confrontations amongst the crowd erupted. The crowd continued to grow in size to estimates of 150-200 people. Due to the growing safety concerns, other local law enforcement agencies were dispatched to assist with this event. Tumwater, Lacey and Yelm Police Department Officers and Thurston County Sheriff Deputies all responded to help.
With more officers on the scene, police were able to contain the fighting and eventually the crowd left. Officers arrested several people for fighting in public, interfering with law enforcement and other crimes associated with this large brawl. Officers seized the vehicle with the firearm inside for a later search warrant.
No officers were hurt during this incident. Several people sustained minor injuries from physical fights they were involved in but no one was transported to hospital.
Booked into the City of Olympia jail were:
Ramond Gilliam (21 yoa) of Puyallup--for the crime of drawing, carrying, and displaying a weapon.
Marquist Walker (25 yoa) of Puyallup--for fighting in public.
Clarence Gathers (21 yoa) of Bremerton--for fighting in public.
Steven Wengelewski (19 yoa) of Olympia--for Obstructing.
Calen Nelsen (29 yoa) of Olympia--for Vandalism and Obstructing.