Rhode Islanders returning from summer hotspot brawl on ferry

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Islanders who flocked to a summer hotspot on Monday for the Victory Day holiday got into brawls at a resort and on a ferry ride home, leading to eight arrests.

The fighting started at a beach resort on Block Island that was hosting a reggae festival. It continued on a ferry that was added to the schedule late in the day due to overcrowding on the island.

Rhode Island State Police say state troopers, as well as officers from three towns responded to the ferry shortly after 9:30 p.m.

Police arriving by boat leapt aboard, searching the ferry while holding their guns.

They arrested seven people, who are all from the Rhode Island cities of Providence and Pawtucket, ranging in age from 20 to 37. Five were charged with disorderly conduct, one was charged with obstructing an officer and one faces a weapons charge. They were arraigned and released. The ferry was heading to the Port of Galilee in Narragansett when the fighting broke out.

Two people were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

State Police had six troopers on the island during the day to help the local police department in anticipation of large crowds at Ballard’s Beach Resort. There was a disturbance at the resort before the ferry brawl and one person was arrested there for fighting, police said. He was also arraigned on a disorderly conduct charge and released.

The state is the only one in the nation that still observes the Victory Day holiday, which commemorates Japan’s surrender ending World War II in August 1945.