Tear gas used on some Mardi Gras Galveston crowds

By Joel Eisenbaum - Investigative Reporter

GALVESTON, Texas - Some problematic party-goers on Galveston Island for Mardi Gras were treated to tear gas when things got out of control over the weekend.

Galveston resident Landon Brixey shot video of the chaos with his phone.

"It was kind of scary at first. We didn't really know what was going on," Brixey said. "All of a sudden people started sprinting. Tear gas. Tear gas. We didn't know what was going on so we just ran with the crowd."

Galveston's Mardi Gras drew an estimated 300,000 people this past weekend and at the very tail end of the festivities, Galveston Police Chief Henry Porretto said a handful of people refused to clear the street.

"It was time to go, they just didn't want to leave," said Porretto.

It was fairly similar to what we saw in 2013 on the island -- people knocking down barriers, throwing bottles at cops -- dangerous stuff, the chief said, that required a forceful response.

"We had to disperse the crowd by releasing chemical disbursement," Porretto said.

Essentially it was tear gas that hit lawbreakers and bystanders with equal force, according to one attendee who asked to remain anonymous.

Judging by the arrest log, everyone arrested in that 19-person sweep is a man. Most have already been released on at $200-$300 bond.

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