Weekend crowd in Westport seen to be unruly on social media

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Social media lit up this past weekend with posts about unruly crowds and fights in Westport, raising concerns about the safety of the area.

“Completely crowded,” said Hannah Riga. “You can hardly get through.”

YouTube user IBWC KC posted video showing KCMO police keeping close watch. Some officers directed traffic while others reprimanded partiers.

It was a crowded scene for people who’ve been loyal to Westport for years aren’t sure about.

'It’s a little more uncomfortable sometimes because just trying to get down the sidewalk is so packed and everyone is kind of rude,” said Joshua Wallace.

Other partygoers told FOX 4 they don’t mind the crowds.

“I think they’re really friendly and the people seem really nice,” said Jenna Weaver.

Still, one thing is clear.

“Whenever you take so many people and you crowd them into such a small space, something is bound to happen,” said Wallace.

Police say that “something” is usually a fight.

“When you get the stagnant crowds, all crowded in one location, you’re going to get people brushing up against people, people losing their temper, and that usually starts fights,” said Captain Darren Ivey with KCMO police.

Capt. Ivey said officers in Westport arrested just one person this weekend for fighting, and said most crime they deal with there is property crime, like car break-ins, rather than violence.

But they do recognize the potential for it and prepare accordingly.

“You try to spread out so you have a good idea of the entire area, what`s going on,” Capt. Ivey said. “But generally, yes, the people behave themselves.”

Capt. Ivey said additional officers man the sidewalks and streets in Westport each weekend. He compared any issue there to what officers typically see in other entertainment districts around the city.

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1 Comment

  • Cameron Mael

    Obviously, I would say this article is spot on. Our now deceased son Derek Mael, is the one, about 3 weeks ago the night of June 30th, who was beaten unconscious by 1 of 2 bicycle riders. Derek passed away 4 days later on June 4th. They still have not been caught. One of the bicycle riders needs to step forward and turn him self in. He faces almost zero charges. He should not “go down” for the crime the other bicycle rider did…and he should clear his conscious. Derek’s Mom and my wife Debra, my remaining son Duke, and myself…Derek’s Dad…are now empty and heartbroken forever. Derek was injured so very badly from this. Derek and his friend were driving into the area and Derek made a comment to the bicycle riders about their poor riding habits…and Derek and his friend thought the matter was over. Moments later one of the riders came by and slapped his face HARD while he was in his car…braking his eyeglasses. Even then, Derek and his peace loving friend Scotty, were not interested in fighting back with the bicycle rider. Derek was not a fighter, nor are any people he was friends with. His glasses were broken, and needing them badly to see, Scotty and Derek simply intended to look for the missing eyeglass lens…and then just ”let it go” about the incident so far…and try to still salvage a fun evening out. Pretty hard to do, by anyone’s opinion at that point. But Derek and Scotty have a big heart, and if anyone could move past this so easily…it would be them. They proceeded to try to park quickly and look for the eyeglass lens. Thinking the bicycle riders were gone. Little did they know…the bicycle riders parked their bikes and stalked them. Derek had let Scotty out of the car to start looking while he found a place to park. But then…the bicycle riders appeared AGAIN out of nowhere in complete surprise to them. Derek could see from his car they were attacking Scotty. He tried to quickly park. Where he parked, it was a narrow road…and there was no parking on the other side of the road. That is where Derek parked and jumped out of his car, because it was right beside the spot where the bicycle riders were attacking Scotty. When Derek parked and jumped out, he left his car running and the door wide open. Now the “already narrow” (car parked legally on the other side) road was “extremely” narrow. This is all important, as you will soon. see in my explanation. As soon as Derek got out of his car, one of the bicycle riders immediately punched him HARD in the face…immediately knocking him unconscious. He fell hard backwards onto the street. then the bicycle rider kept beating on his face…over and over. Scotty….who obviously also hands problems with the other bicycle rider rider trying to fight him…sees how Derek is getting beating with out mercy. Scotty yells at hi m something like…”stop…you have hit him enough”. Now….Scotty has BOTH of these brutal bicycle riders trying to beat him. Scotty all of a sudden notices that ”Derek is gone”. To Scotties horror….he realizes a car/truck has driven by and is dragging our poor Derek under it. Keep in mind how narrow the road way is at this time…and how slow traffic should have been going even under normal conditions. But somehow…a truck we are told…with 3 people right in the front seat….don’t see Derek in the road…and they drag him several blocks. Oh sure…the police say there is a “hill” there. But there really is not one. Not what I’d call a hill the way they seem to be. Not enough of a hill to have prevented a prudent driver from seeing somebody unconscious in the road. If you doubt that…You can Google this location and using ”street view”…and Google Earth…do a computer virtual drive along this route. And there is no hill. Not a big enough rise in the ground that excuses the driver and passengers of the truck from seeing Derek. Especially at what should have been very slow driving there at that time…probably only about 5 mph. Remember…it’s very narrow through there now. The entire incident 1st started just off 43rd street where Derek and Scotty turned onto Wornal….at about 4280 Wornal and proceeded up Wornal into the Westport district. Wornal is only a short block long here. It goes across Mill Street and changes names to w 42nd St. It was here that Derek was in the road unconscious. If you go there, you can see in vivid detail to help visualize what happened…the police spray paint markings in the street that mark where Derek parked…where Derek lay in the street…a dotted line along the path he was dragged…and the spot where his body ended up several blocks away. It is quite disturbing to see….but helps us have closure to understand what happened. I want to thank the police for the fine work they have given this…and to the local news media, and Westport Patrol. They are still working hard to find the bicycle riders and we all beg people to step forward if they can help. The truck dragged him about two blocks to a stop sign on Broadway. It took a right turn, and then dragged him a couple more blocks. You can’t imagine how injured Derek was. Scotty and a man named Brandon, who was a chef at a nearby restaurant called Cava, ran after the truck. Scotty already exhausted. Scotty and Brandon are angel’s to us. This dear men need your prayers…it was very traumatic to them…as it was especially to Scotty and all Derek’s family. To me…Brandon is my family also now. He walked out just as the truck started dragging Derek. I’m sure Scotty was already exhausted from trying to defend himself. Then…soon after Scotty did arrive wher Derek was…he had to get himself together for the medical people and the police. It was such a nightmare to him. Brandon was the first to reach Derek …where he ended up in the road…after the truck ”finally” parked. It was painful for him to tell us about that moment, Derek was hurt so badly. Brandon could see he was having trouble breathing and turned him on his side. I know…it was this action that stopped Derek from passing away right then at that spot. God bless you Brandon for what you did. Meanwhile….We live in St Petersburg, Florida now. We moved from Shawnee to Florida 2 years ago after a lifetime from up there. Derek’s brother Duke moved to Florida with us. Derek remained in Shawnee and was going to moved down to us probably this next winter. A month before all this, Derek had just been down to visit us in march for my
    birthday. One hour before this happened to him….I had texted him a very warm message. Yes…only one hour before. I still have the message on my phone. It was so strange that I had decide then to send such a particularly loving message to him at that precise time. I know Derek read the message, because he had mentioned it to his
    friend Scotty. Thank you God for that last precious moment of sharing with my son. It was so weird that I even sent the message that night….it was past midnight in Florida. Late for me, even in Florida. Then…unknowingly to us…this incident happend to Derek and Scotty. About 3 am…our phone rings in the middle of the night while my wife and I are in bed asleep. The kind of call nightmares come from. The phone rang a few times. I looked at the number each time and did not answer…sure it was a wrong number. Finally, I sleepily answered it. It was a social worker at St Luke’s Hospital…right across the street from where it happened…also where Derek was born a preemie baby there after a Life Flight helicopter ride from St Joseph at State Line and 435. St Lukes is also the premier hospital in the entire region for brain trauma. If Derek has “any” chance at surviving…it was at St Lukes. The social worker quickly and without pause explained they found our number from his cell phone where it said ”Mom”. and they came out straight with it. The social worker informed us Derek was there and had been injured and had non survivable brain trauma. Just like that. And that was that. My wife and I, and Derek’s brother Duke were near insanity from the horror of that call. I did not know you could cry so hard. Tears are in my eyes right now just thinking about it. Moving here to Florida from KC only 2 years ago, and considering the economy…we do not have much extra money. The phone call left us thinking he would die almost immediately…and he probably should or would have. I thank Brandon for allowing Derek to last a short while longer. It took us over 24 hours to raise the money for airfare to get to KC from Florida. Many other angels helped out during that. Derek survived long enough for us to get up there…and spend his last 2 days alive with him and be there when he passed. Again…I thank Brandon for that. But…Derek’s injuries were so awful…and he passed away a couple days after we got there. His 2 kidneys are already in 2 other people who had their lives saved by Derek. We ask anyone who becomes an organ doner to do it in honor of Derek…that can be done. We have changed our Florida licenses to also be organ doners now. It feels good. So….ask me if I think Westport is too dangerous…and you now know my opinion on that. I grew up in the Kansas City area. I go way back to when Wesport first became a spot for young people to have fun, ”last century” in the 1960’s. Volker park on Sundays? Anyone remember those days? Westport has changed from those days of peace and love. It is still a great place for our youth…but it simply must be calmed down. OK…I know that was long…but it was the only way I can tell Derek’s story…and I hope you all see how it relates to this story …and is not just an old man rambling on. In memory of Derek Mael who passed away on June 4, 2014. I hope to save the lives of other youths from the hate and danger that lurks in our planet. If you are guilty even a little bit of road rage or any sort of rage…consider trying to change. Then really do it. I am already a new person from all this. I’m a better person now. We miss you Derek…but let some good live on from what happened to you.