TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WSAV) – Thirty-eight police incident reports, part of a lengthy records request from the WSAV Investigative Unit, detail the chaos Tybee Island police dealt with during Orange Crush.
The city, which admittedly was not ready for the crowd, had just 40 police officers tasked with keeping an estimated 50,000 people safe.
While most of the reports and most of the arrests are not extremely significant, several tell stories that are disturbing, like the arrest of 24-year-old Daniel Wiggins.
The Tybee Island Police Department charged Wiggins with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, aggravated assault and reckless driving.
In their report, officers said Wiggins was laying drag in his Dodge Challenger when he lost control and slammed into three cars. While the officer was trying to chase the car down on foot, he said Wiggins hit two other people and almost hit three more. That officer pulled out his gun and demanded Wiggins stop. The man was arrested after fighting with police. In the car, the report says officers found two pistols and an extended magazine.
Early Saturday morning, 23-year-old Devin Gibbs was arrested walking down Tybrisa Street waving a pistol. The report says Gibbs was angry that someone had stolen his assault rifle. Officers used a taser on the man after they say he ignored their commands. Gibb’s rifle and a bag were later found behind the Pier 16 restaurant.
The reports prove that at least one person was hurt after falling while riding on the hood of a car.
Tybee Island Police has said 18 people were arrested over the weekend.
But perhaps the most surprising thing we have learned following Orange Crush is the event, which was promoted to last three days and attract over 10,000 people, was required by state law to have a mass gathering permit.
So far, no one we’ve talked to in charge on Tybee Island knew that. More shocking is Georgia’s Department of Public Health (DPH), which the law says is in charge of the permits, told WSAV’s Lead Investigative Reporter in a statement, “We don’t issue mass gathering permits.”
When we ask for an in-person interview with the DPH commissioner, we were told she was not available.
Georgia police incident reports only indicate when victims are students, so it is unclear if any of the arrested were directly involved with the Orange Crush event.