Chattanooga police on Monday arrested two juvenile males after the boys allegedly pointed guns at a group of strangers at Greenway Farm in Hixson on Sunday evening.
Both boys, one 15 and one 16, are charged with aggravated assault and unlawful possession of a firearm, according to police. Authorities are not releasing the names of either the suspects or the alleged victims because all are juveniles.
A photo and short video clip sent to the Times Free Press by 18-year-old Emily Campbell, who witnessed the incident, and her father appear to show three teenagers, two of whom are pointing guns toward someone near the camera.
"We were just staring because they looked like little tiny kids," she said. "They pulled out guns, so we were backing up, backing up, and freaking out."
Police were called to the area at about 6:35 p.m. Sunday on a report of a disorder, according to Chattanooga Police Department spokeswoman Elisa Myzal. Police were told the victims were physically threatened at gunpoint by two males. Those males, along with another male juvenile who did not brandish a weapon, fled before police arrived.
The third juvenile is not now facing charges, police said.
The boys had what appeared to be two older adults with them, Campbell said.
Campbell, her boyfriend, her brother and some friends had just finished swimming and were walking back to their vehicles shortly after 6 p.m. There were seven of them in total. They heard a group of people nearby screaming, she said, so they went over to see if everything was OK.
One of the people pictured with the gun-toting minors told the group to "square up" and threw a punch at Campbell's boyfriend, she said. The boyfriend punched back, and the alleged aggressor's friends pulled out handguns, she said.
The two minors with guns allegedly started yelling and cursing at the group to get into their car. They did, called police and drove a short distance away, Campbell said.
The park is operated by the city of Chattanooga as part of the North Chickamauga Creek Greenway, but a city spokesman said they had no comment at this time because of the ongoing investigation.
A photo of the encounter shared on social media helped police identify and locate the suspects, Chattanooga police Chief David Roddy said in a statement.
"I want to thank the many community members who reached out to police so we could identify, investigate and arrest these individuals," he said. "We must continue working together to ensure our city is a safer city."
State Rep. Robin Smith, R-Hixson, posted about the incident on Facebook along with a photo of the alleged suspects and a news article.
"We have a community that doesn't deserve this type of behavior," she wrote.
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