There's been a weird mob-scene eruption two Saturdays in a row at Emeryville's Bay Street shopping center involving hundreds of teenagers, and it's unclear if this was somehow planned, or what.
An estimated 150 to 200 teens were allegedly part of a mass "brawl" on Saturday that caused stores at Emeryville's Bay Street to shut down early. As KRON4 reports, Emeryville police had to once again "swarm" the area to get control of the situation, and the small Emeryville Police Department ended up calling on Oakland police for backup. It was the second weekend in a row that this happened, with a similar brawl breaking out on the afternoon of September 12 in which Oakland cops were also called in.
Representatives for the shopping center are worried the twin incidents, on September 12 and 19, will scare away shoppers after these already beleaguered retailers have been dealing with pandemic closures and thin crowds.
As KPIX reports, a witness described the entire scene on Saturday as looking like a "battle zone."
"Two groups got into and were engaged in a fight, a battle," the witness said. "No guns, no knives, but a battle."
A crowd of young people initially began forming around 4:10 p.m. on Saturday near the 5600 block of Bay Street. Police arrived to disperse them after a similar incident the previous weekend, but the crowd regroups, as KPIX reports, and ultimately around 200 teens were blocking traffic on Shellmound Street.
There's some video via KRON4 below.
The previous incident occurred around the same time of day, at 4:40 p.m. on September 12. No arrests were made in either incident.
The fact that these brawls happened two weekends in a row involving such a large number of teens suggests there might have been some organization or coordination involved, but that's unclear.
Emeryville Police Lt. Fred Dauer tells KPIX that a nearby candy store was vandalized, and there were reports of a liquor store being looted as well. Dauer said officers observed at least one teen carrying a stun gun, and another carrying a machete.
Dauer says that in both incidents, the juveniles appeared to be "intent on fighting each other."
Could this be some bizarre teen fight club?
Anyone with information regarding the two incidents is being asked to contact the Emeryville Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Section at (510) 596-3700. And store operators at Bay Street just hope this doesn't happen again.