South Haven police chief discusses North Beach evacuation

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SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. -- The acting police chief of South Haven says the crowd ahead of Sunday night's "Light up the Lakes" fireworks display was the most out of control one she has seen since she's been with the department.

Chief Natalie Thompson says she made the decision to evacuate North Beach on Sunday as fights that broke out on the beach became more and more intense.

"I was noticing that the number of people on the beach was going to be a problem.  You literally could not see the sand," Thompson said.

The violence eventually escalated even more as police say people started throwing glass bottles.   A young girl had to be treated in an ambulance after being struck by one of the bottles.

The city council supports Thompson's decision to evacuate the crowded beach.

City officials could change or cancel next year’s fireworks show.   Mayor Robert Burr says there have been calls already to cancel next year’s event, but he says “such a move would be too hasty.”

Options include changing aspects of the show including the date, time and duration.

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