Police have arrested Christopher Thornton, 18, after being found in possession of a handgun, according to APD.

“Preliminary investigation determined that witnesses reported two groups of black males fighting with each other at the intersection of Peachtree and 10th streets after leaving the Screen on the Green event,” said APD spokesperson Carlos Campos in a statement.

“We have not been able to corroborate accounts of whether participants in the incident attended the event, however. The matter has been turned over to investigators. It should be noted that there were no major incidents at the Screen on the Green event itself, or in Piedmont Park. Atlanta Police presence has been increased to ensure the safety of patrons at the event,” he added.

Last year, a “melee” broke out at Screen on the Green when several fights broke out causing the film to be stopped early as people ran from the park. Several people at last year’s screening said they were targeted for being gay by those instigating the fights.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and the Piedmont Park Conservancy announced May 25 that the popular Screen on the Green would be held at the park after the Conservancy had previously canceled the series earlier this year when its main corporate sponsor, Peachtree TV, withdrew.

Reed also acknowledged that security would be a high priority for the series after a melee tainted last year’s showing of “Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen.” The Atlanta Police Department, as well as private security, will monitor the crowd during the festival, Reed said.

 

Top photo: Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed addresses reporters about the return of the popular summer outdoor film nights (by Ryan Watkins)

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