NEW YORK - Occupy Wall Street protesters occupied more jail cells Thursday after police officers and protesters clashed in a night of explosive emotions, CBS News station WCBS-TV reports.
The scuffles started after police say demonstrators began spilling over barricades during a nighttime protest.
With thousands of protesters chanting and yelling, police say they were forced to use pepper spray and batons to calm part of the frenzied crowds.
Furious protesters fought back. In one instance seen from WCBS-TV's helicopter, an officer with a baton hit a protester as other police surrounded him and tossed him to the ground.
NYPD employs corralling to control crowds
"I saw nightsticks fly," said Jack DePalmer of Brooklyn, N.Y. "I saw cops on the floor. I saw them charging groups of people."
(At left, watch a report from WCBS-TV)
Police said they are allowed to use batons and pepper spray for crowd-control purposes.
Police arrested 28 people, mostly for disorderly conduct.
What began as a grassroots protest against excesses on Wall Street two-and-a-half weeks ago has grown to a nationwide movement with solidarity rallies being held across the country.
Demonstrators planned to rally in front of the Goldman Sachs offices in Jersey City, N.J., at 2 p.m. ET. Protesters also planned to gather at the same time in front of the New Jersey Statehouse in Trenton.
The hundreds of protesters who have taken over Manhattan's Zuccotti Park for more than two weeks got reinforcements Wednesday when they were joined by unions plus supporters from MoveOn.org and other groups.
They gathered at Foley Square in front of Manhattan's courthouses and overflowed into the surrounding area.
"We are the 99 percent, you know, and it's not fair that people don't have to pay taxes, that corporations don't have to pay taxes and like we do," Helen Curran, a student at Pace University, told WCBS-TV. "It's like my mom pays more taxes than like Walmart does."
"There's been a few agitators here," said Ty Davis of Queens, N.Y. "People are real angry, which is understandable, but at the same time we have to be peaceful about it. Cops are going to be cops. They have to make a living. They're not the real enemy here."