band fight

Screenshot from video. 

A high school marching band and parade spectators temporarily broke into a fight during one of Thursday evening's Carnival parades. 

A widely-circulated video appears to show the end of the brawl, which erupted between members of the G.W. Carver marching band and members of the crowd near the intersection of Napoleon and St. Charles Avenues.

According to a statement from NOPD spokesman Beau Tidwell, the “brief scuffle” took place near the turn from Napoleon Avenue.

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“The NOPD was in position to respond immediately to this incident,” Tidwell said in an email. “Our officers intervened and broke up the skirmish. No arrests were made, and no injuries reported. The NOPD encourages all parade-goers and those marching to be respectful, courteous and considerate. We want everyone to have a safe and happy Mardi Gras, and to treat one another - and our officers - with civility and kindness.”

It was not clear what sparked the melee but according to a statement from the school's principal, Jerel Bryant, the fight started when a "small group of spectators" walked into the crowd and verbally and physically assaulted members of the band and support teams. "With the help of chaperones and security, we separated our band from the group and continued marching. There were no other incidents on the route. Our kids persevered and put on a great show," Bryant said. 

Bryant said the school's administration has put additional safety measures in place, which includes doubling the number of chaperones and hired security, as well as putting additional rope barricades into place.

Police did not say during what parade the fight occurred, but remarks on social media suggested it may have been Muses. 

The fight erupted during a chaotic start to the city’s big parade weekend. A teen was arrested Thursday evening in a shooting incident after allegedly firing a gun into the air near the corner of St. Charles Avenue and Calliope Street as a parade passed. No one was injured in that incident, but the shots caused screaming people to run from the scene. 

Follow Helen Freund on Twitter, @helenfreund.