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Fighting and Throwing Chairs': Riot Explodes as Thousands Seek Housing Vouchers in Mich.


"There was a disabled lady that was in a wheelchair, and they was trying to knock her over to get in front of her."

(Photo: ABC7)

Applicants for Section 8 housing vouchers in Taylor, Michigan went wild Saturday after authorities asked thousands to return another time, CBS Detroit relates.

Apparently, somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 turned out-- some waiting in line all night-- but only 1,000 vouchers were available.

CBS Detroit explains:

When it came time for the vouchers to be distributed, police said there was a mad rush for the door, with people jockeying for position to be the first inside the building. Officers tried to control the crowd, but couldn’t. Fearing the situation was more than they could handle, event organizers shut the entire thing down and turned off the lights inside the building. Witnesses say that’s when things really got ugly.

Star Lee, of Romulus, described the scene as complete chaos.

“People just don’t have order to themselves, you know what I mean? People were fighting and throwing chairs, and that’s just not necessary..."

Candice Wacasey, of Taylor, said she was frightened.

“When the lights went out, it went horrible. People started trampling over people, there was a disabled lady that was in a wheelchair, and they was trying to knock her over to get in front of her. I mean, just crazy,” she said.  [Emphasis added]

Rhianna Rodriguez explains the ramifications of the riot. (Photo: ABC7)

And those who were willing to knock over a disabled woman for a crack at government subsidized housing certainly weren't going to let a few kids get in the way, according to witnesses.

“There was people who was physically putting their hands on people’s childs (sic) and moving them. It was unbelievable,” Lenny Syer said.

But many were more troubled by the fact that thousands may have to forgo government assistance a bit longer.

"There was elderly, disabled people, pregnant single women. They were here for help, to get their Section 8 vouchers.  It just shows you what a desperate need [there is]... some were here since yesterday," Rhianna Rodriguez told ABC 7.

Authorities say they will examine what went wrong on Saturday to determine how to best reschedule the event.

ABC 7 has more, including interviews with a number of the attendees:



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