Police Release Video of Temple “Flash Mob”
Philadelphia Police have released security-camera footage of the havoc that occurred on Temple University’s Main Campus on Friday, October 21st, when large groups of minors engaged in a series of attacks on students and police officers.
The video features an incident in which multiple students were walking on the 1400 block of Oxford Street near Broad Street when a group of about 20 minors surrounded them, according to police. Several minors are shown assaulting the students.
During the incident, one of the students had a cell phone stolen, police said. Two minors were arrested in connection with the incident, and police are seeking at least one other suspect who allegedly fled after the attack.
Overall, four juveniles were arrested in the wide-ranging attacks that occurred that night, which were spurred by a “meet-up” organized via Instagram that started at about 6:45 p.m. at the location of the old Pearl Theatre near Oxford and Broad streets and involved approximately 200 minors, police said.
Throughout the night, the minors split into smaller groups and roamed the campus, committing at least three assaults on Temple students, officers, and a horse, police said.
One incident allegedly involved a student by the name of Christina Lauletta, who was reportedly assaulted by a group of about 20 minors who knocked her to the ground and repeatedly kicked and punched her.
A Facebook post by Christina’s father, Joe Lauletta, has been shared more than 5,000 times. In the post, he describes how the minors “held her down and kicked and stomped on her repeatedly.”
Police said that two of the alleged offenders involved in that incident have been arrested and will face charges, including aggravated assault, robbery, and criminal conspiracy. In other incidents, a 15-year-old who allegedly pushed over a Temple bicycle cop was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and resisting arrest, while a 16-year-old who allegedly punched a police horse twice in the face was arrested and charged with assaulting a police service animal, police told the Inquirer.
Temple said it will ramp up its police presence on Main Campus following the incidents. Temple spokesman Brandon Lausch told the Inquirer that the university will likely double the number of officers on patrol this Halloween weekend.
A “TU Alert” was sent to students about an hour after the first attack occurred Friday night, warning students about “large groups of juveniles along Broad Street.” Some were frustrated that an alert was not sent sooner, according to The Temple News.
Charlie Leone, Temple’s director of campus safety services, told The Temple News that the youth meet-up was not initially intended to cause harm, but “when kids get together, especially a couple hundred, it can turn into something like this, unfortunately.”
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