Lawrence police today released more details about a fight early Saturday morning at Hardee's Restaurant, 23rd and Iowa, in which one man was arrested and two police officers were injured.
Police Lt. Ed Brunt said police were called to the restaurant about 4:10 a.m. by employees after a group of about 20 people entered the business and began yelling obscenities and pushing buttons on cash registers. Restaurant employees also reported that a fight broke out between two of the people in the restaurant.
Brunt said that when police officers Jim Winn and Tracy Russell arrived, they asked one man to go outside.
The man, Brunt said, went outside with the officers but continued to yell obscenities at restaurant employees and then at the officers.
Brunt said the man asked officers to "beat me like you did Rodney King."
Brunt said that when the officers attempted to arrest the man for disorderly conduct, another man came outside and scuffles broke out between the two officers and the men.
The officers then called for backup, Brunt said.
BRUNT said the crowd, comprised of black men and women in their late teens, gathered outside during the scuffle and began chanting "Rodney King," the name of the black motorist who allegedly was beaten by four white police officers this spring in Los Angeles.
As a third officer was pulling up to the scene in a police car, one of the men threw Winn onto the vehicle, cracking the car's windshield and a spotlight on the side of the car.
Winn was knocked unconscious and suffered five broken ribs, Brunt said.
He said people in the crowd ran from the scene after Winn was knocked to the ground.
"When they say officer Winn go down, they scattered," Brunt said. "They thought he was dead."
A KU police officer who had heard police radio traffic about the incident detained an 18-year-old man he saw running near the U.S. Army Reserve building at 21st and Iowa, near the restaurant.
THE MAN was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, battery on a police officer and criminal damage to property. He is one of the suspects initially involved in a scuffle with officers, Brunt said.
The man was scheduled to appear in Douglas County District Court on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Winn, a 14-year police veteran, was listed in fair condition today at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.
"He's very sore," Brunt said.
Russell suffered bruised ribs in the fight, and was treated and released from LMH. There were no other injuries.
BRUNT said police still are searching for the suspect who allegedly threw Winn into the vehicle.
He said police are unsure if people in the crowd all were Lawrence residents.
He said that members of the crowd had been at a Lawrence party where alcohol was being consumed before the incident.