Sunday, June 16, 2024

23 juveniles and 6 adults apprehended following the cancellation of a skate after-party

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30 Arrested After Fight Breaks Out at Tampa-Area Skating Rink – Sheriff Outraged by Violent Behavior

Nearly 30 people were arrested in Brandon, Florida, after a chaotic scene unfolded at a Tampa-area skating rink over the weekend. The incident began around 9:20 p.m. on Saturday when off-duty deputies at Astro Skate of Brandon called for backup due to a large crowd fighting in the parking lot.

According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO), the fight erupted after a planned after-party was canceled. Astro Skate requires private party hosts to hire off-duty deputies for security, but when the organizers failed to do so, the party was called off. Subsequently, the group took to social media, urging people to come and riot at the business and confront law enforcement.

Deputies arrived to find approximately 400 to 500 people gathered in the parking lot. Despite warnings to disperse, the situation escalated as one group attacked a juvenile inside a nearby barber shop, resulting in injuries. Another group vandalized a convenience store, causing damage and theft.

Sheriff Chad Chronister expressed outrage over the violent and disruptive behavior, emphasizing that such actions will not be tolerated in Hillsborough County. In total, six adults were arrested, and 23 juveniles were taken into custody.

One parent, Jeff Gant, spoke out about his 16-year-old son’s arrest, claiming that the teen was not involved in the violence but was waiting for a ride near the skating rink. Gant raised concerns about how his son was detained, stating that the handcuffs remained behind his back for hours.

Despite the incident, Astro Skate owner Chris Maganias vowed to increase security measures for future events. He apologized to neighboring businesses and emphasized that the actions of a few individuals should not reflect on the entire community.

As the community grapples with the aftermath of the chaotic night, residents and business owners are hopeful for a more peaceful and secure environment moving forward.

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