MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - A Mardi Gras society president is promising to make things right for a little girl who was left on the sidelines during Saturday night's Conde Explorers' parade.
Four-year-old Starla Chapman, who is battling a rare form of cancer, was supposed to be the Grand Marshal for the parade on Saturday, but the group's president, Terrance Bridges, said he couldn't get her onto the float after a run-in with the law.
The parade rolled through downtown on Saturday night, January 26, but most of the thousands of revelers who came out to catch moon pies and beads didn't realize something was missing.
Chapman's photo was posted on the "Team Starla" Facebook page hours before Starla was supposed to ride in the parade as its Grand Marshal. Instead, the child, her family, and another young cancer patient were left on the sidelines in tears.
Bridges, the Conde Explorers' President, said it was his job to get Starla on the float, but he couldn't because he ended up in handcuffs.
Bridges was arrested minutes before the parade was set to roll. He was booked into Mobile Metro Jail for failure to obey a police officer, disorderly conduct and public intoxication.
Bridges, who is also a Mobile Firefighter, said there was a communication problem with the Police Department that led to his arrest.
Fire officials said the arrest is being investigated internally. Bridges was not on duty at the time of his arrest.
In the meantime, Bridges said he's sorry the two children and their families were hurt, and he promises the organization will make it right.
Bridges lost his own daughter to cancer two years ago and said he understands the pain the disease causes families.
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