Imagine it's Christmas and you've just enjoyed a trip to the movies. On your way out of the theater, you find yourself walking into the middle of a massive melee. That was the case when about 600 people were involved in a free-for-all outside a Florida movie theater.
The brawl started at the Hollywood River City 14 movie theater in Jacksonville at around 8:30PM. A group of teens attempted to storm the movie theater without paying for a ticket. Several of the youths attacked an off-duty police officer who was working as security for the theater.
Lauri-Ellen Smith, the spokeswoman for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, states that the officer, “administered pepper spray to disperse the group, locked the doors and called for backup, following protocol."
Before the police arrived on the scene, the crowd swelled to over 600 persons in the parking lot, who began fighting, jumping over cars, and disrupting the theater's business. It took 62 police officers to break up the scenes of mayhem and disperse all participants. Getting rid of the crowd and ending the chaos was said to have taken about an hour. In the end, there were no serious injuries and the damage caused to cars and the movie theater is reported to be miniscule.
There were only a few arrests, despite the hundreds involved. Tevyn Alonza Davis, Jaquade Marquis Miller, Khalil Ahmad Bradley were arrested for charges ranging resisting arrest to breach of peace. Two other unnamed individuals were taken into custody as well for misdemeanor offenses.
The city of Jacksonville does have a curfew law, but as the event took place well before 11:00 PM, there's nothing much to be said for it. It is clear that something must be done about unsupervised teenagers looking to cause trouble after dark.
As for the scene, there is raw footage of the melee as it was unfolding:
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