Gloucester Township officials to make more arrests after ‘unruly’ juveniles spark violent fights

Gloucester Township Police Chief says they are pouring over hours of video and other evidence and plan to make additional arrests after a chaotic end to Gloucester Township Day on Saturday night.

On Saturday night, they arrested 12 people, including 10 juveniles, one as young as 13-years-old.

"These kids weren’t here to have fun, these weren’t kids being kids, they were here to cause trouble and it was very clear right from the get-go," said Chief David Harkins.


Over 500 'unruly' juveniles spark violent fights at community event in South Jersey: police

Another family event descended into chaos when police say crowds instigated numerous fights that ended with nearly a dozen arrests of juveniles as young as 13 years old.

Police say an influx of juveniles were dropped off as families waited for the Gloucester Township Day's drone light show to begin at Veterans Park on Saturday evening around 7:30 p.m. 

Chief Harkins says they were not riding the rides, eating the food, or visiting vendors, but instead, congregated by the basketball courts, and started to violently fight.

"Some of them were wearing black hoodies, putting medical masks on, not for medical reasons," he said. "It was very clear rival groups from different areas were there to commit violence on one another these officers stepped right in to stop that, and they didn’t care who was around they didn’t care who came in and got hurt."

Police say they moved the group to the shopping center across the street in order to clear the park safely, but continued to break up fights and chaos for two hours. Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt.

"Groups of 50-60 kids just running by, fighting," said Debbie Rayner, who witnessed the chaos. "Started throwing at the windows, surrounding police officers, trying to intimidate them."

The gathering comes a week after several shore towns had issues with crowds of teenagers on the boardwalks.

"It is a concern, as a police chief I’ve spoken with other police chiefs and township officials. We’re reevaluating everything," said Chief Harkins.

Parents who spoke with FOX 29 are pushing for accountability.

"People are literally picking their kids up and running with their kids because they see a group of teenagers running," said Terrence Smith, who witnessed the chaos with his young son. "It’s intimidating, it’s not safe, these kids going to keep doing what they doing if they don’t get stopped."

Police are asking anyone with additional video or information to contact them.