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Deputies unable to make 'head or tail' of Atlantic City situation

Jul 15, 2013 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

Deputies responded to a disorderly situation at about 11:50 p.m. July 3 at the Atlantic City Mercantile.

No one was injured or arrested in the incident, and officials said it was difficult to determine what actually happened in the small mountain town.

"It was a very large disorderly situation that involved several people," Undersheriff Ryan Lee said Friday. "There was alcohol involved, (and) we ended up with several different stories. ... We couldn't make head or tail of what was going on."

The initial call involved a man who reportedly yelled that he needed a deputy at the mercantile. He then hung up the phone, but dispatchers said they could hear yelling in the background.

No one answered the phone when officials tried to call the reporting party back at about 11:55 p.m., but two minutes later someone else reported that a subject was attempting to fight multiple people in the store. The subject reportedly had a rifle, but he later told dispatchers that he didn't have a gun.

"(His) speech is slurred," the dispatcher reported.

Lee said some people involved did have firearms in their possession, but no threats were made with the guns.

"They weren't pointed at anybody," Lee said.

Just after midnight Thursday dispatchers asked reporting parties to "get everybody away from the merc." The group reportedly moved "to the edge" of the store and had plans to move to a nearby restaurant. One woman said her shoulder was hurt, and someone had pulled her hair, but she did not want an ambulance.

At about 12:15 a.m., a group of people "next door" reportedly came to the mercantile and "broke into there and assaulted" a man in the store.

Once deputies arrived on scene, however, Lee said everyone seemed to have calmed down.

"All the parties were separated, and we took control of the situation," he said.