EDGEWOOD, Pa. (KDKA) – It’s meant to be a place for kids and their parents to have fun indoors, but law enforcement tells KDKA Scene 75 is tying up resources with out-of-control kids.
“I was scared cause I didn’t know what was going to happen. I didn’t know if there were guns, if there was an active shooter at the time or what was going on,” said Kenneth Michael who was at Edgewood Town Center on Saturday.
Thankfully, it wasn’t anything Michael feared, but Edgewood Police Chief Robert Payne said what did happen is an ongoing problem.
“There was, in fact, a fight inside and outside. Officers tried to break the fight up, but it became unorganized mayhem and one of my officers ended up getting injured during the confrontation,” Payne said.
Despite the sign on the door stating each juvenile must be accompanied by an adult, Payne tells KDKA nearly 300 juveniles were involved in this fight with not a single parent present.
“So there’s not enough security and they aren’t following their own rules,” Payne said.
It’s the second time a fight of this magnitude happened on Scene 75’s property in the last three months.
KDKA reached out to Scene 75, whose CEO calls claims about the incident “factually inaccurate.”
They say there is one fistfight that occurred outside of the facility. Security noticed some children being unruly, the CEO says, and they were removed from the building while additional police support was requested.
In total, the CEO says there were six security members present, including two police officers present on site before the incident.
After the December fight, local law enforcement met with local Scene 75 management to try to fix the problems, but Payne said nothing has changed.
Scene 75’s CEO disagrees, saying they have enforced the “clear majority” or suggestions discussed in a previous meeting.
“It ties up all of our resources and it impacts the businesses up at the Towne Center, people who are shopping at Giant Eagle. These are elderly people with no place else to go and they are afraid to leave the store because there are large groups of roving juveniles throughout the area,” Payne said.
There is another meeting being planned with Scene 75, neighboring law enforcement agencies, the liquor board and the District Attorney’s Office to figure out what will happen next. The meeting is slated to happen next week.
As for the officer who was injured Saturday, he is still off the job and will need to see a specialist for injuries he sustained while trying to break up a group of the teenagers.