PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The mayor is working with the Pittsburgh Public School District to try and put an end to dangerous fights that have been breaking out among teenagers recently in Downtown Pittsburgh.
One of the brawls, on Monday, was caught on cell phone video. Students can be seen punching, pushing and kicking one another.
Authorities say there was a similar fight last week.
Large groups of mostly high school-aged kids moving through the city between the hours of 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. has become the norm. Folks in Rick Applegate’s office hear them outside every day, but Monday was different.
“Look out the window… onto Liberty Avenue, and on either side of the street, there are approximately 25 to 30 kids on either side of the street yelling at one another,” said Applegate, who witnessed the fight.
As they watched, the confrontation spilled into the street.
“Two men kind of squared up to each other like they were going to fight, put their hands up, and a woman from behind one of the men sprayed something that looked like pepper spray towards the other guy,” Alex Papson, another witness, said.
The confrontation escalated and moved up Liberty Avenue.
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto says the city is working with Pittsburgh Public Schools.
“Downtown is still a very safe place to be,” says Mayor Peduto. “What we want to make sure is that this isn’t a trend, and these are just isolated incidents.”
There are three high schools downtown and other students arrive on Port Authority buses to transfer downtown along Liberty Avenue. The mayor says that can’t be changed.
The people who work along that stretch wouldn’t think of venturing out at that time of day.
“Definitely not,” says Applegate. “It’s a heightened environment where anything can happen at that moment.”