Police on scene as mass vigil for teen enters second day
- Credit: Anthony Carroll
A mass vigil in memory of a teenager who died in a motorcycle crash has resumed for a second day, with police on the scene to try and 'encourage' those present to leave and stick to covid guidelines.
Officers have faced some criticism for breaking up an "unlicensed music event" that was being held on Great Yarmouth seafront on Saturday in memory of Domantas Baksaitis.
But this paper understands police received a number of complaints about "quite loud music" being played and around 100 people being present.
On Sunday afternoon crowds started to gather at North Drive, with road closures being put in place while police attempted to break it up.
Temporary Chief Superintendent Dave Buckley said in reference to the Sunday event: "We are working to disperse the gathering in a controlled manner, taking the safety of those in attendance and our officers into account.
"Whilst we understand that people would like to pay their respects, we must remember that the restrictions are in place for a reason and we all have a responsibility to protect those around us.
"We will continue to do what we need to do to keep people safe, which includes taking a proportionate level of action in response to any breaches of public health or other offences.”
It is understood the levels of sound emitting from the scene on Saturday, plus the number of attendees, meant that it met the criteria of being classified as a rave.
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Three men were arrested at the scene, and a number of fines and warnings were issued in relation to breaches of Covid-19 lockdown rules.
Friends of the teenager have however defended the memorial gathering that began at around 3pm on Saturday.
The candlelit vigil to the popular 17-year-old - known as Domas - came days after the teen had died when his motorbike crashed into a lamppost on Great Yarmouth seafront in the early hours of Tuesday, March 2.
The event on North Drive - close to the lamppost where Domas died - apparently "became more heated" when officers attended in the evening.
A friend of Domas who was at the scene said it was not an unlawful music event, but a socially-distanced memorial to their "great" friend, with his favourite songs being played as more than 100 lanterns were released.
One of Domas' friends said: "Domas was very well known. He was a really good lad, a sound guy who was always the life and soul of the party.
"Domas was always smiling, joking and he was really funny.
"He loved his bikes. At the end of the day we wanted to show our respects to him - we lost a great friend."
The friend added: "It was never a rave. The officers should have been more respectful at this sad time.
"Since Domas passed away last week, hundreds of tributes have been left on a banner at the lamppost, which is covered in more than 100 bouquets of flowers."
Comments such as "always in my thoughts" "rest in paradise" and "fly high Domas" dominate the 'Forever in our Hearts Domantas Baksaitis' banner at the lamppost where he died.