Fights break out at Glendale roller skating event for hundreds of youth

File photo (Jacob Stanek/Independent Newsmedia)

At 16-year-old boy was Tased while Glendale officers tried to break up several incidents occurring at and around a roller skating rink that was hosting around 500 youth for an event.

The incident started around 9:30 p.m. Saturday at Great Skate near 43rd and Peoria avenues.

Police said there was an event going on at the rink, during which a uniformed off-duty officer hired by the rink called in a disturbance involving 200 children.

On Wednesday afternoon, police said the event had reached capacity, with some 200 people in lined being turned around. Groups of teens then began fighting in the parking lot and extended to other businesses in the area.

Police and dispatched had received numerous 911 calls by business staff and residents seeking help.

About 27 Glendale officers responded to handle multiple groups. Phoenix officers also responded to false reports of a shooting.

“Among the behavior being observed were multiple fights, reports of thefts from businesses and vehicles in the area and kids throwing rocks at passing cars,” Glendale police stated Wednesday afternoon. “During the response to these fights, officers did deploy oleoresin capsicum (OC) spray to disperse the groups of aggressors failing to comply with officers’ commands.”

Police said multiple marked law enforcement vehicles were intentionally damaged, including a personal vehicle of one of the off-duty officers.

“This incident was an unfortunate experience for many of the patrons that were there to have a fun night with friends,” police stated Monday afternoon.

According to a calls for service sheet, it appears officers were out from 9:40 p.m. Saturday through 4 a.m. Sunday.

Around 2:30 a.m., an officer reportedly used their Taser. According to at least one report, a juvenile appeared to be on the receiving end of the Taser. He was later identified as a 16-year-old boy.

An officer had originally escorted him out of the business before the boy reportedly ripped a sign from the door and then charged at an officer. An officer then sprayed the boy with OC and applied a Taser with less-lethal probes.

The boy was taken to the hospital for precautionary reasons and was in the process of having charges submitted against him for assault on an officer.

Great Skate released a statement Monday:

We would like to thank the community for its outpouring of support. Many of you may have seen the news reports of the incident that took place during our All Night event at Great Skate this past weekend and we feel compelled to share some information about the nights events.

Our All Night events are meant to give our local teenagers a place to go to recreate and have fun in a CLEAN, FUN, FRIENDLY and SAFE environment. These All Night Skates are special events, we host about 8 per year. This past Saturday night, we had a handful of troublemakers show up at our facility who clearly came with motives much different than ours. These few teens not only disrespected other teens in the building but also police officers, security and our staff. Quite frankly, we were appalled at this small groups behavior. Most of the teens who came that evening have been attending our events for years and are good kids who come to ROLLER SKATE and enjoy a night out with their friends. The behavior of the few troublemakers this past Saturday night are not reflective of the usual crowd that we have at Great Skate.

We extend our deepest apologies for the behavior of the teenagers that attended that acted disrespectfully and in some cases violently towards our other valued guests and staff. We extend an extra special apology and thank you to the Glendale Police Officers who had to assist us that evening. We are endlessly thankful for their presence. We are working closely with authorities to arrest those involved and plan on cooperating in whatever way we can. Any teen that took part in the incident Saturday night has been banned from Great Skate permanently and we will continue to enforce this policy in the future.

We have a beautiful skating facility that has served this community for many, many years. We hope that you will see this terrible incident for what it was, and hope to see many familiar faces at our spring break sessions and beyond. Thank you again to so many of you who have reached out with kind words.

Glendale police said they have not received any complaints regarding the tactics or performance of their officers that night.

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