No bullets at Bele Chere

Asheville Police Chief Bill Hogan told Xpress that his department was prepared for the worst on Saturday, July 28, due to threats of gang violence during the street festival Bele Chere. He said the APD had received credible tips that a gang fight was slated for the Asheville Civic Center area.

Speaking on Sunday afternoon from the platform of the Segway on which he cruises through festivals and parades, Hogan said, “We expected guns and bullets.” He added that while his officers were prepared to deal with whatever happened, they were greatly relieved that the night and weekend passed without a substantial incident. Overall, he said, the weekend had been a quiet one. Hogan then fielded a question about the location of restrooms and directed a couple to the Coxe Avenue stage before gliding up Battery Park Avenue toward the Grove Arcade.

Today (Monday, July 20), the APD reported 89 arrests over the weekend, of which 11 involved alcohol violations (under-age, DUI, open -ontainer) and 10 more were for “intoxicted and disruptive” behavior. Eight other arrests involved fights or physical assault of one sort or another, and there was one assault with a deadly weapon.

At least two arrests appear to be entirely unrelated to the festival. There was one trout-license violation, presumably at some remove from the funnel cakes, crafters and beer barrels, and a man was charged with second-degree murder in the death of his wife at an apartment complex in Sayles Village, four miles from Bele Chere’s downtown epicenter. Last year there were 55 arrests over the Bele Chere weekend.

— Cecil Bothwell, staff writer


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About Cecil Bothwell
A writer for Mountain Xpress since three years before there WAS an MX--back in the days of GreenLine. Former managing editor of the paper, founding editor of the Warren Wilson College environmental journal, Heartstone, member of the national editorial board of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, publisher of Brave Ulysses Books, radio host of "Blows Against the Empire" on WPVM-LP 103.5 FM, co-author of the best selling guide Finding your way in Asheville. Lives with three cats, macs and cacti. His other car is a canoe. Paints, plays music and for the past five years has been researching and soon to publish a critical biography--Billy Graham: Prince of War:

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6 thoughts on “No bullets at Bele Chere

  1. Nikrat

    Police chief or not, I don’t think he should allow folks to use the Coxe Stage as a restroom.


  2. dhalgren

    I spoke to Atlanta photographer Preston Wiles who claimed to have photographed Opie and Andy…

  3. Dew Whut

    “There was one trout-license violation, presumably at some remove from the funnel cakes, crafters and beer barrels…” Did that part of that sentence make sense to anyone else? It sure confused me!

  4. Dionysis

    I agree, Dew Whut (that’s funny). The sentence is gibberish.
    My only question regarding arrests is: where was grandstander extraordinaire Carl Mumford helping to keep the streets safe from the scourge of cannabis? Or does he only frequent rock concerts where the hunting is better?

  5. Tom

    I came to Ashevile to retire and not dodge bullets.

    Asheville has been removed from top city lists due to increasing crime. What’s more, during a council meeting on July 24, 2007 … Mayor Bellamy said that she learned during a recent … “unprecedented levels of methamphetamine and other drugs are moving into the area, largely brought in by illegal aliens.”

    Yet, Mary Ballamy voted to not enter into a relationship with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    I quess the pressure from big local business wanted to hire cheap labor along with the spin doctors who call citizens wanting to protect their town …bigots were too much pressure for her.

  6. dhalgren

    “presumably at some remove” what will them durn interleckual writers come up wid nex! Thats what is commonly refered to as ironic. ( a : the use of words to express something other than and especially the opposite of the literal meaning b : a usually humorous or sardonic literary style or form characterized by irony c : an ironic expression or utterance)
    While I doubt the drugs are being brought in by aliens, it doesn’t surprise me that asshville government is just as corrupt as any other city. Just keep voting for those rich folk who have your best interests at heart, oh and please go kill some raki children for your man bush.

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