Three Brussels residents brought to court after massive fight on Belgian coast

Three Brussels residents brought to court after massive fight on Belgian coast

Three Brussels residents will be brought before a judge on Monday for their involvement in a massive brawl that broke out in the Belgian coast at the weekend.

The three men were arrested after a fight broke out on the beach of Blankenberge on Saturday, after a group of some two dozen youths were told by police that they could not sit on the breakwater due to social-distancing rules.

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Around a dozen people were involved in the ensuing fight, using parasols, sunbeds and windsurfing poles as weapons against police officers and lifeguards and bringing chaos to a beach packed with day-trippers on one of the hottest days of an ongoing heatwave.

The three youths, so far unidentified, were questioned on Sunday by public prosecutors in Bruges and referred to an investigating judge on suspicion of armed rebellion and of deliberate blows and injuries leading to an incapacity to work for the police and lifeguards.

"They are suspected of attacking police officers and lifeguards in a very aggressive manner, in groups armed with all kinds of material such as bottles, umbrellas and sunbeds," Bruges prosecutor Fien Maddens told Bruzz.

"Neither the authority nor the orders of the police or the lifeguards were respected," she added.

The local police zone of Blankenberge, a resort town located along the Belgian coast, some 15 kilometres from Bruges, had to enlist several other zones for backup as they attempted to contain the brawl.

The investigating judge on Monday will question the three suspects and decide whether to uphold their arrest and refer them to a council chamber, before which they would appear on Friday.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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