Surveillance video captured a wild melee between teens at an Arizona skating rink over the weekend that prompted officers to deploy their pepper spray and one cop to use his Taser on a 16-year-old boy.
The Great Skate in Glendale was hosting an all-night event Saturday when several fights broke out inside and outside the venue about 9 p.m., FOX10 reported. Glendale police, who on Wednesday released video of the melee, said the fights began when staff members started turning away 200 people waiting to get inside the rink.
The event had reached capacity, with more than 500 people inside the building.
Surveillance video showed several teens on roller skates lunging at each other. Police said they used pepper spray to disperse groups and officers acted accordingly to halt the “mob-like environment.”
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At one point, a 16-year-old boy ran toward an officer whose back was turned. Police said the teen was inside the event without a wristband and being disruptive. As the 16-year-old was being escorted out of the venue, he grabbed a sign, ripped it and knocked a display to the ground. An officer deployed his pepper spray and Taser on the teen, who was later taken to the hospital and could face charges of aggravated assault on a police officer.
Niquel Braker, an 11-year-old who was at the event, said she was hit with pepper spray.
“It feels bad,” Braker told FOX10. “You can’t see. Everything’s blurry. The pepper is cutting into your eye.”
Said Braker’s mother, Shawna Slarb: “I’ve never been pepper sprayed in my entire life, but my little daughter has.”
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Officers were eventually able to contain the fights and shut down the event. Police said they have been in contact with the skating rink managers to address the incident.
Some parents have voiced their concerns about how Glendale police and the skating rink handled Saturday’s situation.
“We are understanding that they have a big problem with aggression, we want to address that and we want the Glendale Police chief to address that as well,” one parent, Katt McKinney, said.