Officers from the Grosse Pointes assisted Harper Woods police and court staff Wednesday in quelling an outburst that evolved into an altercation in Harper Woods District Court during a preliminary exam in a homicide case.
Harper Woods Police Chief Jim Burke announced the arrests in a community alert Wednesday, explaining the problem arose among those in the gallery. What began as a verbal dispute between the large group of supporters for the victim of the homicide and the large group of supporters of the accused shooter evolved into a physical altercation that spilled out of the courtroom and into lobby of the police department, according to the alert.
The homicide happened at Eastland Mall in 2010. Harper Woods police had established heavier security for Wednesday's preliminary exam in the courthouse and courtroom, which enabled them to contain most of the people involved in the altercation in the courtroom, according to the alert.
Officers from the Grosse Pointes responded to provide additional help in quelling the crowd and restoring the peace so the hearing could continue. The judge cleared the courtroom and proceeded with the hearing.
Two people sustained minor injuries during the altercation and were treated by the Harper Woods Fire Department. Five people were arrested as a result, according to the alert.