— The Sun (@TheSun) July 20, 2016
Three people, including one police officer, have been stabbed after a ‘spontaneous water fight’ on the hottest day of the year turned violent.
Bottles and other items were thrown at officers in London’s Hyde Park after the ‘increasingly large crowd became hostile to police’ at around 8:40pm, BBC reports.
Another officer was hit with a bottle, Scotland Yard said, while two members of the public suffered stab wounds.
— I Do What I Want (@NeverIvan_) July 20, 2016
The violence started earlier in the afternoon when a crowd began gathering in the park. According to witnesses posting comments on social media, a large crowd were told to disperse by police officers, which prompted some to start throwing bottles.
The mob was eventually driven back to Marble Arch, where around 500 remained until midnight, hurling bottles at police and chanting ‘Black Lives Matter,’ the Evening Standard reports.
Witnesses described the violence as a ‘warzone’, calling it the worst outbreak of youth violence since the 2011 riots.
Footage circulating on social media shows one man being chased with knives through the streets of London, while another shows someone being violently attacked.
Images posted on social media show scores of people gathering in Hyde Park as police officers carrying riot shields tried to clear the area.
One video on Twitter shows people throwing bottles at police cars exiting the area. A man on the video can be heard saying: “They are throwing bottles at Fed cars … they are mashing up the Fed cars.”
— Phz (@PHZ_LDN) July 19, 2016
At 10pm, the Metropolitan police said they were still dealing with ‘disorder’. A police spokesperson confirmed two officers have suffered injuries – one stabbed and another hit with a bottle. They also reported that two others had been stabbed and been taken to hospital.
A statement added:
Police in Westminster were in attendance at Hyde Park, by the Serpentine, from 3pm after a large number of people gathered for a spontaneous ‘water fight’.
At around 8.40pm, parts of the increasingly large crowd become hostile to police and items – including bottles – were thrown towards officers.
All four injured people are being treated in hospital, according to police.