Witness recalls snowball arrests: 'People are treating us like criminals’

Updated: Jan. 15, 2019 at 11:13 PM EST
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PRICE HILL, OH (FOX19) - Several people in Price Hill called 911 on Sunday following a snowball fight that ended with two arrests.

“There’s four or five black males that threw a snowball in my daughter’s side of her window, hit her in the face, and they are screaming all kinds of cuss words," one woman told dispatchers.

Another man called and told dispatchers: “I’d like to make a complaint. There is three, four black gentlemen hanging on the corner of West Liberty and First Avenue smashing cars with snowballs.”

A City of Cincinnati Public Service employee who was on the roads plowing snow also called 911. She told dispatchers there were about 15 people on the street throwing rocks and snowballs at her truck.

Those calls led to the arrests of 25-year-old Tyshawn Mayers and his 16-year-old cousin who FOX19 is not naming because he’s a minor.

In cellphone video of those arrests you can hear the people involved saying: “Police officers harassing us for snowballs, two police harassing us for snowballs.”

FOX19 spoke to the man who recorded it, Marqueze Mayers -- Tyshawn Mayers’ younger brother.

“There was a whole lot of cars that probably did get hit on accident, you know, we were right here on this side of the street and (some of us were) across the street. So, a whole lot of snow balls were being thrown so the snowplow probably did get hit," he said.

Cincinnati police released this statement: “We are actively investigating. It’s more than just a snowball fight. Anytime a city employee feels threatened, we take that seriously.”

Marqueze Mayers says he doesn’t understand why the driver felt threatened.

“For one, it’s snowballs. I mean if we were throwing rocks and bricks at each other that would be a different situation. I would feel threatened, too," he said.

He also says he wishes he hit record before the arrests so people could see it was an innocent snowball fight.

“People are treating us like criminals. We thought police were just going to be like, ‘Watch the snowballs, have it on the side,' but nobody said that,” he said.

Since the incident, at least two neighbors have called FOX19 saying the people involved in the snowball fight purposely were throwing snowballs at cars and the snow plow.

Tyshawn Mayers' wife, Brittiney Parrett, says she watched as her husband was arrested. She says the entire incident has divided the community and pinned neighbors against them.

“I mean I apologize if your car got hit by a snowball but, I mean, when you step back and think about it -- was it worth all that though?" she said.

During the cellphone video the people involved in the snowball fight were cursing at the officers, saying they would file a lawsuit against them.

Tyshawn Mayers posted bond after his arrest on Sunday. He’s scheduled to appear in court sometime in February.

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