WORCESTER (CBS) – A crowd clashed with police in Worcester late Monday night, hours after the police chief kneeled with demonstrators at a peaceful protest. Nineteen people were arrested including an 18-year-old who allegedly had several Molotov cocktails.
The crowd marched through the streets to speak out against the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and some stopped to kneel or lay in the road.
Police in riot gear were lined up nearby. At one point projectiles were thrown at officers and fireworks were set off in a crowd. There was also a report of looting in Webster Square.
Worcester Police said one officer was struck in the head with a piece of concrete and others were hit by rocks.
“An officer was struck in the chest by fireworks, which burned his uniform and skin,” Worcester Police said. “The neighborhood was filled with smoke from fires intentionally set by members of the crowd. A police cruiser caught on fire after being hit with a Roman candle, and others were damaged by various items thrown.”
About 90 minutes after the disturbance started, police used smoke grenades and pepperball rounds to disperse the crowd and make arrests.
During the incident, police said 18-year-old Vincent Eovarious was found on the roof the Pennywise Market with several Molotov cocktails. He eventually surrendered to police and was arrested.
It happened just hours after hundreds of people gathered on the city common for a peaceful protest.
Worcester Police Chief Steven Sargent joined those demonstrators, kneeling in solidarity.