The only person arrested during a night of fights and traffic disruption at the July 4th Friendship Festival in Riverside Park was sentenced Tuesday to 7½ years in prison for possessing a weapon that night and possessing another gun four months later while out on bail.
State Supreme Court Justice Christopher J. Burns imposed consecutive prison sentences of 3½ years and four years in the two weapons cases against Marlek Williams, 21, of Littlefield Avenue. He had faced a maximum of 30 years in prison.
Willams pleaded guilty in December to two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
In the July 4 case, he admitted he had a loaded Colt .380 semi-automatic pistol that he discarded as police chased him near the park that night. Police arrested him on Gorton Street after responding to a call of a man waving a gun on Tonawanda Street.
The arrest came amid fights at the Friendship Festival, which attracted about 20,000 people for fireworks. Police said the size of the crowd made it difficult for people to leave after the fireworks. Police said a large group briefly blocked traffic and jumped on cars on Tonawanda Street. Police eventually cleared the group.
But Williams was the only one arrested.
While out on bail on the gun charge, Williams was arrested on another gun charge Nov. 14 on East Ferry Street, where police found him with a .22-caliber revolver loaded with six rounds. His bail was revoked.