Decatur police said they were met with splashing, obscenities and refusals to cooperate while trying to halt loud music and unruly behavior by boaters Sunday afternoon at the Point Mallard Aquatic Center beach area, and five people were arrested on misdemeanor charges.
A 42-year-old Waterloo man was charged with harassment, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. A 20-year-old Trinity woman was charged with public intoxication and resisting arrest. A 29-year-old Hartselle man was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. A 25-year-old Decatur man and 26-year-old Trinity man were each charged with public intoxication. Police said more arrests are possible.
The incident began about 5:30 p.m. but followed a request made about 1:30 p.m. by police that boaters move away from the beach. The boaters complied with the earlier request that came after water park employees informed police that the boaters were “drinking, smoking marijuana, playing loud, profane music, using profanity and throwing beer bottles and cans on the beach,” according to a news release from Decatur police.
“Later, at about 5:30 p.m., managers of the water park received complaints from patrons of the park that the boaters were back on the beach, drinking, smoking marijuana, cussing and playing loud, obscene music to the point that the patrons were about to leave the park and never return,” the release said.
Police said one water park patron saw “sexual acts being performed by two women on the boat facing toward the park.”
Officers said they could hear the loud profane music all the way to the dressing room area of the water park. The officers then went to the beach area, “finding several intoxicated people with open containers of alcoholic beverages on the beach, in the water and on the boats that were tied together approximately 10 yards off shore,” according to the release.
Police said they did not witness any sexual acts.
“Due to the volume of the music, officers had a difficult time making contact with the owner of the boat playing the music,” the release said. “The officers were met with obscenities by numerous individuals. The music was then turned down and shortly afterward was turned up again. While attempting to arrest the boat owner, the officer was pushed from behind and splashed in the face by another person. The boat owner was taken into custody.”
Police said the individual who pushed and splashed the officer swam into deeper water to avoid being taken into custody.
“He got onto a boat and began taunting the officers in front of the large crowd, adding to the situation and exciting the crowd to become more disorderly,” the release said.
“The officer removed his vest and portable radio (walkie) with the intentions of apprehending that person. Another individual standing on the beach took the officer’s portable radio and threw it into the water.”
Police said the individual also began cussing at the officer and was arrested for public intoxication. Police said warrants will be obtained for criminal mischief after the dollar amount of damage is determined to repair or replace the radio.
Police said an officer also observed a “female on the beach who was yelling at the Point Mallard staff while holding an open beer.”
The officer said when they tried to take her into custody for an open container violation, “he was grabbed by two other females in order to prevent her arrest. Pepper gas was sprayed on the females.”
One of the females was taken into custody.
The Morgan County Sheriff’s Office boat unit responded to a request for assistance. Deputies located the boat occupied by the person who had shoved and taunted the officer earlier. The boat was escorted by the Sheriff’s Office to the Decatur Boat Harbor, where the individual was taken into custody on the dock.
Video from portions of the incident was posted by bystanders to social media, but access to one video was later limited.