BALTIMORE (WITI) -- Charred cars and buildings. Hospitalized police officers. Looted and damaged businesses. No school, because it might not be safe for children to go outside. That was the stark reality in Baltimore Tuesday, April 28th after a day and night that saw hundreds of arrests, 144 vehicle fires and 19 structure fires, according to city spokesman Kevin Harris. The Baltimore riots happened on the same day a funeral was held for Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old man who died while in police custody. A Milwaukee woman found herself in the middle of the chaos. She's in Baltimore for a four-week training session for her job in Milwaukee. She's staying just two blocks away from where the riots occurred.
"On Monday we were just getting out of class, and they said 'it's starting to happen again,'" the Milwaukee woman named Stacy told FOX6 News.
Stacy and her co-workers were hustled into their hotel and told to stay there.
"I turned on the news, watching cops being pelted with rocks and bricks," Stacy said.
Adding to her shock, Stacy says, was realizing some of the rioting was happening just two blocks from her hotel.
"We saw a bunch of cop cars, at least like a dozen zipping past the hotel," Stacy said.
Stacy has been in Baltimore for about two weeks. She's had time to tour the city and says she's already familiar with some of the places hit hard by looters and rioters.
"Some of the stores they hit, a 7-Eleven and a French café we were just at a couple of days ago," Stacy said.
She says Tuesday was relatively quiet. The only real sign of trouble she saw were a few kids throwing things and lighting things on fire. Schools were closed in Baltimore Tuesday, and public transportation was shut down.
Stacy told FOX6 News she was worried about what would happen when night fell in Baltimore Tuesday.
A mandatory curfew has been issued for Baltimore residents -- from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. beginning Tuesday and continuing for one week.
Stacy says what she saw on TV and near her hotel Monday was in stark contrast to the scene last week, when peaceful protesters filled the streets.
"They covered the whole street -- men, women, children. I saw some baby strollers in there. It was extremely -- a powerful statement," Stacy said.
It's a statement now being overshadowed by violence and destruction.
"It just puts a really bad spin on what they`re trying to accomplish," Stacy said.
Even as simply a visitor to Baltimore, Stacy says she worries about the long-term effects these riots will have on the city.
"They`re just hurting their own neighborhoods, and I don`t know if they realize that or not. Those are people who probably live here who own those stores, who own those little convenience stores, and I mean, those owners -- who knows if they can rebuild?" Stacy said.
Stacy will be in Baltimore until May 15th. Some family members and friends had planned to come visit her this weekend, but she insisted they cancel. A probe into the death of Freddie Gray is expected to be completed Friday, May 1st, at which point it will be handed over to a prosecutor who will decide whether to file charges in the case. Stacy says she's concerned about what the reaction might be to that development.