- Associated Press - Thursday, September 18, 2014

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - Dayton’s city manager says the police chief was justified in pepper-spraying a 15-year-old girl during a downtown melee last weekend.

Chief Richard Biehl says he was helping officers break up a large fight at Friday’s Urban Night celebration downtown. He said the girl approached the crowd from behind him and began assaulting people.

He says he used his department-issued pepper spray on the girl, who was put into a cruiser and given decontamination treatment. She later was released to the custody of her sister.

City manager Tim Riordan said Wednesday that Biehl’s use of pepper spray “prevented the brawl from escalating and becoming far worse.”

Biehl says because he was already dealing with an unruly crowd, pepper spray was the only way he could stop the girl.

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