Downtown security heightened for weekend events

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Sat. Sept. 19, 2015

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) --Border bash is a time to celebrate the friendly rival between neighboring states,but it wasn't all friendly.

Last night at Border bash four deputies wrestled this man to the ground. Officials tell us Jesse Cheadle starting cursing and yelling at deputies when he was told to leave his cooler at the door. Deputies say the confrontation escalated, and Cheadle was arrested on a county ordinance of trespassing, but with Border Bash and Arts in the Heart bringing in more than 80 thousand people downtown, deputies say it took a large effort to keep everyone safe.

"All of the security personnel are observant and vigilant," said Lt. J.R. Compton with Richmond County.

Deputies say they will try to keep that up for the rest of the weekend, for moms like Jessica Engler, who are showing their little ones a good time.

"It's a fun time to get out with the kids and see local artist and enjoy good food so yeah we are having a blast," said Engler.

She says she wants the kids to have a good time, but in a safe environment.

"Its very important. There is a lot of people and you just have to keep your family close and make sure no one wanders off," said Engler.

At an event this large, Compton says they are doing more than just tracking down lost little ones.

"We face certain problems today that we haven't faced in the past, and we instruct all our personnel to be watchful of that. As well as the people watching the gate," said Compton.

To do this, Compton says he reached out to other departments, pulling officers to get the man power these two events needed.
To Engler, it makes all the difference.

"We are thankful for all the police officers down here making sure things stay safe," said Engler.

Lt.. Compton says from the looks of today's and Friday's turnout, both events had record numbers of people coming out. While fighting and inappropriate behavior is one of the things that they are watching for in big crowds like this where alcohol is being consumed, he told me one of their biggest challenges is still traffic.