Philadelphia, PA - More than 500 teens gathered in a mob and targeted police by taunting them, throwing bottles at them, and jumping on top of their cars on Sunday night. Video captured part of the scene (below.)
The incident began shortly after 6 PM in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, at the Lonnie Young Rec Center in the 1200 block of Chelten Avenue, according to CBS Local Philadelphia.
The event appears to have been planned through social media. Police were called about 9:30 PM, and upon arrival found a large crowd on the sidewalk and into the street. The teens appeared to range in age from 12 - 17 years old.
Philadelphia police officers said that glass bottles were thrown at them by the mob. Social media shows teens surrounding officers in their vehicles, getting on top of police vehicles, and verbally taunting them. Police commanders decided not to arrest anyone, so that the situation would not escalate.
Philadelphia Police Captain Drew Techner said, "There’s no reported injuries to police, no reported arrests, and there’s no reported injuries to civilians at this time."
The teens had apparently come to a cookout at the rec center, and the organizer, Alex Williams, initially said that he did not know how the crowd got so out of hand, according to 6abc. He later told reporter Jeannette Reyes with 6abc that they were just having "a peaceful neighborhood cookout, and the police came and shut it down. He said that "people got mad", and then they stayed.
Another resident, who wanted to remain confidential, spoke the truth. She said "they're always talking about 'The police this,' and 'The police that, But what they did to the police they were so disrespectful - throwing bottles and everything. It was so disrespectful. I got emotional, me and my sister. I started crying. I'm trying to get the kids to go home."
Police said that the crowd tried to hide in a nearby take-out Chinese food restaurant during part of the incident.
Captain Techner had this message for parents and others responsible for the teens: “Parents need to be aware that when they’re sending their juveniles out, I know it’s nice to get the fresh air, and be out with their friends on a summer night. But parents have to be aware of what their kids are doing, who they are with, and what they’re getting involved in. They need to be home at a decent hour.”