Long Beach police arrest armed teen after fight at MLK Park

Police arrested an armed 18-year-old man Saturday afternoon following a fight at Martin Luther King Park in Central Long Beach.

The officers were working at the park at the end of the annual MLK Day parade when they responded to a call of a fight at the park at 12:59 p.m., said police spokeswoman Karen Owens.

When officers observed the suspect walking with a handgun in his hand, he fled from them on foot, Owens said, leading police on a short foot chase before they took him into custody without incident a few blocks away in the 1000 block of Rhea Street.

The suspect was identified as Long Beach resident Joseph Ballard.

Police were able to recover the handgun for evidence and booked the suspect for carrying a firearm in public and for being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm.

In a separate incident about an hour later, officers who were working at the park also at the end of the parade conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle near 20th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, Owens said.

During the investigation, police arrested the driver for being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm. The suspect was identified as 24-year-old Compton resident Demauriel Miles.

Both incidents remain under investigation.

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Stephanie Rivera is the community engagement editor for the Long Beach Post. After graduating from CSULB with a degree in journalism, Stephanie worked for Patch Latino and City News Service before coming to the Long Beach Post in 2015.