Riot at Livingstone leads to two arrests

  • Posted: Monday, April 29, 2013 11:28 a.m.

Authorities charged two Livingstone College students following a massive fight involving 200 to 300 people this weekend on the campus. Other law enforcement agencies were called to the campus, 701 W. Monroe St., late Saturday night to help Livingstone Police. It is not clear what precipitated the riot, but it took authorities two hours to quell the situation.

There were 16 Salisbury Police officers who responded to the campus just after midnight. Officers noted several fights that began to spread throughout the campus, including near the school’s gym and dormitories. Students were shouting racial slurs, cursing at the officers and did not comply with officers’ commands to disperse, said Capt. Shelia Lingle.

One student, Bobleto Devon Latta Jr., 19, of Washington, D.C., was charged with misdemeanor resist, delay, obstruct a law enforcement officer and a liquor law violation, also a misdemeanor. When police tried to arrest Latta, two other males tried to intervene and attack police, causing other officers to step in to help. Latta had to be taken to the ground and was stunned with a Taser, a report said. He still did not comply after being shocked. Officers had to pick Latta up and place him into a patrol car. Once in the patrol vehicle, a report said he began to cry. Latta was issued a $1,000 secured bond and taken to the Rowan County Detention Center where he has since been released.

Police had to use tear gas and pepper spray to disperse the crowd. Fire and EMS were positioned at the front gates of the campus to decontaminate students. No one had to be taken to the hospital, Lingle said.

Another student, Jalan Thomas Coles, 20, was charged with misdemeanor failure to disperse. A police report said Coles was asked to leave the front of Dancy Hall dormitory, but did not. He was placed in the county jail under a $1,000 secured bond and has since been released. The entire incident was contained to the campus.

“You want to calm the situation and make sure no one gets hurt,” Lingle said of the incident.

Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253. Twitter: Facebook:

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