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MOB RULES: Flash Mob Rampages At The Gallery


NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: A flash mob of teens snowballed into violent brawlers in Philadelphia on Tuesday. Police suspect the 100 teens gathered at The Gallery on Market St. after organizing the incident on Facebook or Twitter. According to a Philadelphia TV station, the event began as a massive snowball fight. The crowd quickly became unruly, and spilled into a nearby Macy’s department store. Fights broke out, as the store was damaged and items stolen. MORE

INQUIRER: Yesterday afternoon, police arrested 15 teenagers who went on a rampage through Macy’s department store and the surrounding streets. Thelout-rampage.thumbnail.jpg teenagers, who came from at least six different schools throughout the city, apparently organized the outing through MySpace or other social networking sites, then congregated at the Gallery at Market East around 4:45 p.m., where they were turned away, police said. The kids then went on a rampage through Macy’s, knocking over displays and causing about $700 worth of damage, police said. Afterwards, the teens took to the streets, throwing snowballs, starting fights with each other and knocking over pedestrians. Fourteen of the teenagers – ranging in age between 14 and 17 – were charged with disorderly conduct and rioting. One girl was charged with assault, police said. MORE

ACTION NEWS: “Upon leaving The Gallery, approximately 50-100 individuals were running in and out of traffic, pushing people down, snow ball fights, stopping cars,” said Lt. George Ondrejka, Philadelphia police. One woman came upon the mob as they were running through 13th and Market Streets, saw the look on some of their faces and knew there was going to be trouble. She said the teens looked angry and were allegedly acting like they wanted to hurt someone. She went on to say in an instant the mob knocked one kid to the ground and as he laid bloodied, she says one of the girls in the crowd kicked him in the head, even as the police stood nearby. Police promptly arrested the girl and rushed the boy to the hospital. MORE

KYW: Some witnesses took pictures of the chaos with cell phones.  Witnesses say the ordeal lasted about 5-10 minutes.  Police say many of the teens lout-rampage.thumbnail.jpgattend Simon Gratz High School and Benjamin Franklin High School. MORE

INQUIRER: The school district, for example, is calling other large districts around the country to see how they have handled such problems. The youths apparently organized the meeting through Internet social networks and when large crowds were thrown out of the Gallery, they began throwing snowballs and causing havoc, officials said. District officials are looking for ways to tap in so that they might become aware the next time something is planned. Monitoring social networking sites is one possibility being looked at, he said. “That would be among a range of strategies we’ll be contemplating to determine how these things are being planned, by whom and so forth,” Golden said. MORE

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