Video: Downtown Scottsdale Melee Shuts Down Street

Surveillance video just released by Scottsdale police shows the chaos of a huge crowd watching a large fight that engulfed a downtown Scottsdale street.

Police stated that they are seeking criminal charges against four people, including an off-duty city firefighter, believed to have started the big fight on August 2.

An incident report, released along with the video of the brawl after a request from New Times, describes the firefighter, 27-year-old Chad Preslar, as intoxicated at the scene and one of the primary instigators of the fight. 

Police are asking prosecutors to charge Preslar, Anthony Durazo, Brandy Araiza, and Vanessa Vargas with three misdemeanors each. Preslar's under an internal investigation at work for his role in the incident, which began about 2:30 a.m. after area nightclubs closed.

New Times trimmed about six minutes from the soundless video to show the main fighting sequence in a roughly one-minute segment. The beginning of the video, before trimming, shows a small group of people arguing in the upper left of the frame, on East Shoeman Lane. It appears there's shoving and close-quarter shouting. A few people start to gather while others watch from across the street.

As the angry men get into it, a woman suddenly runs in front of a moving car and intervenes in the fight. A guy in a white shirt runs up and appears to punch another man. He then is tackled by yet another challenger. The brawl spills into the street, with guys rushing into the action, people on the sidewalk trying to flee the violence, and people whipping out their cell-phone cameras. The group of male and female fighters falls to the ground, then gets back up again.

A flagpole in the upper right of the screen obscures some of the action. But just above it, men pummeling each other can be seen.

"At this point, there is a melee occurring, and the streets have now become gridlocked due to subjects fighting," the police report states.

Finally, cops can be seen in the video pushing through the crowd to break up the combatants. Several minutes showing the aftermath of the fight also were trimmed from the video.

Preslar, with a bruise on his forehead, blood on his lip, and a scrape on his nose, told police at the scene that he was just defending himself. 

It's difficult to see who's who in the video, but police believe they can identify the suspects and included the video evidence in the report to prosecutors.

Watch Downtown Scottsdale Melee Shut Down Streets from Voice Media Group on Vimeo.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.