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FIRST ON 3: Wilmington Police use pepper spray to break up Downtown Halloween crowd Saturday

READ MORE: FIRST ON 3: Wilmington Police use pepper spray to break up Downtown Halloween crowd Saturday
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Halloween is a time to dress up with your friends and snap some pictures of creative costumes, but after this year's Halloween in downtown Wilmington, some people are reliving their weekend from a YouTube video.

A number of videos are floating around YouTube of what Wilmington Police officers say was a rowdy crowd late Saturday night and early Sunday morning. In the videos you can see a large crowd of people hanging outside the bars right after closing time. The crowd is chanting, "U-S-A!"

Lt. Ed Pigford says police officers tried to tell people to start moving out of the area, but were unsuccessful. Pigford says the crowd of people jumping up and down had the potential to be violent.

After numerous attempts, officers released pepper spray into the air, not at any people, but to get people moving.

"We're trying to avoid a mob mentality, and we're trying to avoid injury by trying to split these crowds up as quickly as we can," Pigford said. "If you allow these crowds to form, we've all seen video of college-type crowds. We've all seen YouTube videos of them turning vehicles over, breaking windows and tearing down signs."

Pigford says about 8,000 people were on Front Street Saturday night. He also says only one woman sought treatment from the pepper spray.

Pigford says that use of pepper spray or any physical means of getting people under control is a last resort, but when there are a lot of people who are heavily intoxicated, it's hard to get people to obey what they say.

To watch the videos, click here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOIH_mcMPy0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNE5YZ3oBNQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPSAkti6txw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNfN8lgAN4c

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