2 men started 2 fights downtown, police say

Published: Sunday, September 30, 2012 at 5:01 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, September 30, 2012 at 5:01 p.m.

Two men instigated fist-fights and an unarmed robbery in downtown Gainesville early Saturday morning, causing injuries to several people, police said

Gainesville police gave this account: Brian Norman, 25, and Robert Brinson, 26, pulled up outside Hampton Inn at 101 SE First Ave. in a black sedan at 12:35 a.m.

The two men got out of their vehicle and confronted a group of people in front of the hotel, punching two of them in the face. Another man wrestled with Norman, keeping him from further attacking the group.

Norman and Brinson backed off and headed to Southeast Second Avenue, where they approached another group. Norman and Brinson then punched two men, knocking one man to the ground. Brinson stole the backpack of one man, which contained a laptop valued at $895.

The men were spotted by police at 300 SE First Ave., and Norman was detained. Brinson ran into a neighboring parking garage and was later located, still holding the backpack and laptop, with the help of K-9 officers.

Both Norman and Brinson were arrested on charges of battery and robbery. There was no indication in the police report on the severity of the injuries to the victims.

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