Viral video causes a rise in safety concerns for some Starkville residents


STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – It can be a dangerous mix – alcohol, heat, and tempers.

Over the weekend, a disturbing video of a fight near the MSU campus surfaced on twitter.

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The brawl is between several young men and takes place on the front lawn of Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church in Starkville’s Cotton District after Saturday’s football game.

The video has since gone viral, causing several community members to question whether or not the Starkville Police Department has enough staff to patrol the high number of people coming in for large events.

We have decided not to show you that video.

Jeff Artiguez is a deacon at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Starkville.

Artiguez said he learned of the fight early Monday morning, and he watched the video for the first time during our interview.

“I guess sad and frustrated that something like that would happen,” said Artiguez.

The church is located in the middle of the Cotton District, but Artiguez said this is the first time anything like this has happened on church property. However, church leaders aren’t very concerned.

“Probably more so of an isolated incident. I think the Starkville police department is already doing all that they can, but they just might need to be more visible,” said Artiguez.

Backing up that statement, Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill said the video is simply a sign of the times.

“I have told others, this bad behavior has been going on for decades, for hundreds of years, we just now have cell phones that we can record it,” said Spruill.

Going forward, some students are concerned about safety when having a night out.

“I think there should be a little more security out there, especially for game days, because like I said, they’re intoxicated, and you never know what’s going to happen,” said Mississippi State University sophomore Caitlin Beckum.

The city is already planning for future big events like Bulldog Bash.

“We’ve got all hands on deck from the Starkville Police Department as well as the University. The campus police are going to help us. I’m sure that the Sheriff’s department and anyone else that we feel we need will be available,” said Spruill.

On the whole, Spruill said residents of Starkville should feel safe.

“I want us to react responsibly and not over-react anytime that we get those kinds of viral videos. I think the knee-jerk reaction is never the right one. It is a considered and contemplated response from our Police Department whom I trust thoroughly as to how they are going to handle that, and I fully anticipate that they will be ready for any of the event that we have coming,” said Spruill.

A south Mississippi man has been charged in connection to the fight.

Starkville Police have arrested Nathan Cvitanovich, 22. He is charged with simple assault. More arrests are expected.


Police are discussing how to move forward with the matter.